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Plans for major infrastructure investment urged by construction professionals

02 May 2007

02 May 2007: Leading engineers, surveyors and town planners have today written to Chancellor Gordon Brown calling for a clear plan for delivering multi-billion pound investment in the nation's essential infrastructure ahead of the forthcoming Planning White Paper.

The letter representing 230,000 professionals from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is asking the Government to clarify its plans for major investments into new transport, energy, waste and water infrastructure.

Recent reports to the Treasury from Sir Rod Eddington and Kate Barker have highlighted that Britain needs to invest in major infrastructure to secure and prolong the growth that it has enjoyed over the past 10 years. Major projects are required to create more flexible labour markets, ensure energy security, accommodate population growth and guard against environmental harm.

Quentin Leiper, ICE President, commented: \"Failure to invest in our infrastructure could lead to further traffic congestion, more hosepipe bans and over-reliance on imported gas supplies. Ultimately, essential infrastructure investment is vital for improving the nation's quality of life.\"

The letter has been sent to the Chancellor ahead of the publication of the Planning White Paper which ICE, RICS and RTPI see as an ideal opportunity to engage investors in considering how new funding for infrastructure should be sourced and new projects implemented.

The three construction bodies are calling for a National Infrastructure Framework to help government determine the location of  major new infrastructure. The Framework should be regularly monitored in comprehensive spending reviews and would link into Regional Spatial Strategies.

Jim Claydon, RTPI President, said: \"To secure the growth that Britain has enjoyed over the past 10 years, we need a national framework for major infrastructure. The obvious first step is to map existing infrastructure investment and future intentions.\"

ICE, RICS and the RTPI welcome the opportunity to develop the idea of developing a national infrastructure investment framework with the Government.

Graham Chase, RICS President, said: "We urge the Government to follow up on Kate Barker's recommendation for an independent planning commission. This will enable decisions on national infrastructure projects - such as new roads, power stations and airports to be integrated into a development plan, avoiding the long delays that currently affect major infrastructure projects. The Government must act to establish a national infrastructure framework."


Media contacts:

Paul O' Grady, ICE Press Office, t: 020 7 665 2104 / 07917 215955

Stephen Thornton, RICS Press Office, t: (0)207 695 1682

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager, t: 020 7929 9479


Note to editors:

1. Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)

ICE is one of the pre-eminent engineering institutions in the world. Established as a learned society in 1818, it has over 80,000 members and provides a voice for civil engineering, continuing professional development and promoting best practice throughout the industry.

2. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

RICS is the mark of property professionalism worldwide. It covers all aspects of property, construction and associated environmental issues. RICS has 130,000 members globally and represents, regulates and promotes the work of property professionals throughout 121 countries. RICS is governed by a Royal Charter approved by Parliament which requires it to act in the public interest. It is also a professional regulatory body approved by Government (HM Treasury).

3. RoyalTown Planning Institute (RTPI)

The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space. RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. The RTPI is the largest professional institute for plannersworldwide, with over 20,000 members.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:

41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865