For the first time, the document includes a section on house-building. Although this is largely a private sector industry, the government has committed to release public sector land with capacity for at least 160,000 homes, representing an increase of more than 50% on the last parliament. It also plans to directly commission the construction of 13,000 new homes, with the first wave of these starting on four sites outside of London in 2016.
The plan1 incorporates the latest version of the national infrastructure pipeline2, which lists more than £425bn worth of planned investment in more than 600 major projects and programmes across the UK.
It assumes that Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will be under construction by 2021, despite its current stalled status, although it is not rash enough to suggest that any other nuclear power projects will have reached construction stage by then.
Tony Meggs, chief executive of the newly formed Infrastructure & Projects Authority, said: “This plan sets out details of infrastructure investment by government and the private sector across all sectors and regions. It describes not only what we are going to build, but also how we will prioritise investment and work with industry to improve delivery. “
Commercial secretary to the Treasury Lord O’Neill said: “From more modern transport links, to faster broadband, better infrastructure is at the heart of our plans to build a more productive economy and improve people’s everyday lives.
“That is why we are stepping up with the private sector to invest in some of this country’s most ambitious projects to create a more secure future for the next generation. This government is determined, even at a time of global uncertainty, to invest in the long-term projects that will make our economy and our country fit for the future.”
According to the report, Highways England will spend £15bn on the motorway and trunk road network by the end of March 2021, with more than 100 major schemes completed or in construction.
Other projects in the document include the start of High Speed 2 and the completion of Crossrail. It also includes more than £100bn of private sector investment in the energy sector.
The government has also published a new construction strategy that commits to reducing the cost of projects by £1.7bn during this parliament “through the use of innovation and efficiency”.