Should housebuilding be part of infrastructure and if so, why?

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Building new homes will be at the forefront of the UK’s recovery from the Covid pandemic and the housing sector remains crucial to the government’s levelling up ambitions.

The stated aim to build 300,000 new homes every year by the mid-2020s will only be met by building at scale, including major new villages, towns and suburbs across the UK. For development to happen at this level and to create sustainable places, some suggest that policy has to change so that housing can be classed as infrastructure in the planning process.

Bringing housing under the national infrastructure brief could pave the way for more affordable high-quality developments, which are supported by both the right infrastructure and local communities, resulting in sustainable places that work for everyone. Although recent updates to the National Planning Policy Framework have helped to create a more joined up approach to housing and infrastructure delivery, more needs to be done.

A policy that prioritises housing alongside transport, broadband, energy and water would enable planning applications for larger housing developments to go through the nationally significant infrastructure project process, so they would be considered at a national level.

Infrastructure Intelligence have partnered with BECG for a series of free virtual roundtables, webinars, and interviews which will bring the infrastructure community together to share and learn from their experiences and to focus on what a successful future should look like for the sector

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