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News » UK » Infrastructure Act becomes law » published 13 Feb 2015

Infrastructure Act becomes law

The Infrastructure Act has this week received royal assent and passed into law.

The legislation sets up Highways England, a government-owned company to replace the Highway Agency. The key difference is that its budgets will now be set for five-year spending periods, during which they cannot be changed by the government. This is expected to lead to better planning to such an extent, so the government has been told, that there will be savings of at least £2.6bn over the next 10 years.

The wide-ranging legislation also promotes fracking and gives local communities the right to buy a stake in renewable energy infrastructure projects.

There are also amendments ot the planning system to enable surplus and redundant public sector land and property to be sold to developers more quickly and cut some of the delays on projects that have already been granted planning permission, by a new ‘deemed discharge’ provision on planning conditions.

The government described these as “powerful new measures” that will “get Britain building”.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has long been a fan of the highways reform, believing that its members will now be better able to plan their resources if truck road and motorway spending in England is fixed for five years.

CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “The granting of Royal Assent marks the culmination of a long push by industry to improve the way we invest in our motorways. This long-term certainty will allow investment in skills, equipment and innovation, and should in turn reduce the cost of delivery and make savings for the taxpayer.”

 

 

MPU

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This article was published on 13 Feb 2015 (last updated on 13 Feb 2015).

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