Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Government’s £466bn plans will have major impact

As part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement a massive spending programme has been announced for infrastructure projects under the guise of the National Infrastructure Plan. This document outlines the Government’s proposals for infrastructure spending.

The spending programme identifies £466bn of funds across the sector with energy and transport projects the areas where spend will be greatest over the next Parliament and beyond.

The key areas of publicly-funded infrastructure are in roads, rail, and flood defences. Up to £15bn of investment in the Strategic Road Network was announced encompassing more than 100 major schemes to 2020-21. The most eye-catching of these include improvements to the A303/A30/A358 corridor including a tunnel of at least 1.8 miles at Stonehenge, a dual carriageway bypass on the A27 at Arundel, and £1.5bn of investment in the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon which unlocks the Northstowe housing development. New rail schemes include support of an alternative route to Cornwall via Okehampton to improve resilience of the railway at Dawlish, funding towards Chesterton Rail Station north of Cambridge and redevelopment of key stations in Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

A six year programme of investment in flood defences, allocating £2.3bn capital funding, is set out in the plan. The investment will deliver protection to at least 300,000 homes and help avoid more than £30bn in economic damages, including a £1.5bn reduction in potential losses for the farming sector. Schemes include a barrage a Boston,

improved tidal defences on the Thames, and new projects at Oxford, Lowestoft, Yalding, and the Humber.

Energy transmission and distribution is a key theme although investment is to be planned and delivered by the private sector. The Government’s policy seems to be short term support in the oil and gas industries and longer term in the nuclear sector including support for a new power plant at Moorside.

If re-elected, the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan is neither a guarantee nor commitment of spending across the next term but it is useful indicator of the importance of infrastructure to the national recovery.

The delivery of many of these projects will require private rights and interests to be acquired either throughout agreement or through compulsion and the plan identifies further reform of the compulsory purchase process to ensure it is clearer, faster, and fairer. It is likely that many of these schemes will require long term planning and many years of feasibility studies and optioneering before going through the planning process. Landowners may be contacted for access to land for surveys and other early engagement in the consultation process over the next couple of years.

Carter Jonas’s National Infrastructures team advises both scheme promoters and landowners across the country that may be affected by infrastructure proposals. We are experts in the legal framework that underpins delivery of these projects and how they may impact land and property.

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Simon MoleMRICS


Simon has over 13 years of professional expertise advising both acquiring authorities and claimants from the public and private sectors across transport, infrastructure and regeneration schemes. Clien...

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