Mark Whitehead 29 November 2016

Councils say infrastructure costs are greatest barrier to inward investment

The cost of providing infrastructure is the biggest barrier to development, planning experts have warned.

In a survey Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) found 83% of councils and 100% of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) identified infrastructure costs as a significant obstacle to inward investment. This was a greater problem than viability or land availability.

Its report 'Invest to Grow: How Can Planning Support Inward Investment?' also says a third of LEPs and 60% of local authorities believed partnership working could be more effective.

Many survey respondents were unsure how Brexit would impact on inward investment planning, but just under a third of local authorities did not think it would make any difference.

Lucie Bailey, associate director at NLP, said planners and their partners had a role to play in enabling and facilitating sustainable development, overcoming market failure and monitoring the effectiveness of policies and economic objectives.

'Our research identified significant scope for improvement, but also plenty of examples of best practice from across the country in providing a positive, well-evidenced planning framework that pro-actively targets, and effectively responds to, investment and growth opportunities.'

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