Exploring the National Infrastructure Assessment

Exploring the National Infrastructure Assessment
The National Infrastructure Commission recently published the first ever National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA), which analyses the UK's long-term infrastructure needs up to 2050 and makes several recommendations and proposals. Our panel of construction and planning experts highlight the most noteworthy recommendations of the NIA, and the challenges that now face the government.
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The experts

David Savage (DS), head of the construction and infrastructure sector at Charles Russell SpeechlysRob McNabb (RM), partner in the construction and engineering group at Eversheds Sutherland


Duncan Field (DF), partner in the planning team at Norton Rose Fulbright

Paul Wakefield (PW), associate partner in the planning department at Shakespeare Martineau

What are your thoughts on the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs as identified in the NIA?

DS: The scope of this first NIA is huge, covering recommendations for infrastructure in the UK relating to transport, energy, water and waste water, flood resilience, digital connectivity and solid waste—from now until 2050. This is massive agenda to engage with, but in many ways, that is the point—government has the responsibility to coordinate and prioritise delivery across all these areas, including meeting its legislated commitments around decarbonising. This first NIA reflects well on the work of the NIC since its establishment in 2015, and under its current chair Sir John Armitt CBE.RM: First of all, it is good to see that steps are being taken to properly determine the UK’s infrastructure needs and to deal with them, and the recognition that major infrastructure projects take too long from inception to delivery is to be welcomed. In terms of the needs identified in the report, there is a clear recognition of the changing nature of society and the change in infrastructure needs this creates has a clear focus on IT infrastructure requirements and on the energy transition in terms of the shift to renewables, which includes

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