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Get Britain Building - Infrastructure Act comes into force
Trowers Public Insight

Get Britain Building - Infrastructure Act comes into force

On 12 February 2015, the Infrastructure Act came into force with the aim of making building in Britain easier, quicker and simpler.

The Act is intended to boost Britain's competiveness in transport, energy, housing and nationally significant infrastructure projects. Key changes include:

  • Turning the Highways Agency into a government-owned company, Highways England, with stable long term funding to drive down costs to the taxpayer and make the new arms-length company more accountable to Parliament and to road users;
  • Enabling surplus and redundant public sector land and property to be sold more quickly by cutting red tape, increasing the amount of previously used land available for new homes;
  • Ending unreasonable and excessive delays on projects which already have been granted planning permission, by a new ‘deemed discharge’ provision on planning conditions – this will help speed up house building;
  • Allowing Land Registry to create a digitised local land charges register that will improve access to data, standardise fees and improve turnaround times for property professionals and citizens;
  • Enabling Land Registry to undertake new services that would further improve the conveyancing process and benefit the wider property sector;
  • Giving local communities the right to buy a stake in renewable energy infrastructure projects;
  • Boosting energy security and economic growth by extracting domestic shale gas, which has the potential to create jobs, making Britain less reliant on imports from abroad and helping to tackle climate change;
  • Setting a cycling and walking investment strategy;
  • Improving the nationally significant infrastructure regime by making a number of technical administrative improvements to the Planning Act 2008 following a review of how the act has operated; and
  • Enabling the creation of an allowable solutions scheme to provide a cost effective way for house builders to meet the zero carbon homes obligation.

The Act is a welcome move in the current climate and will hopefully bring a much needed boost to infrastructure projects in the UK. Watch this space over the next few months as we comment on the practical implications of the Act on central and local government  projects.

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