Effective National Infrastructure: Balancing detail & flexibility – through planning to delivery

In September 2016 NIPA commissioned a team from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London to undertake research into the extent and impact of the level of detail in the DCO process.

The research team, led by Professor Janice Morphet and Dr Ben Clifford, was asked to collate evidence and industry views about the level of detail required in assessment, application, examination and consent of NSIPs; versus the impacts of current practice on the quality of the process for all stakeholders, on the quality of decision-making, and on the quality and delivery of resultant schemes.

The team was also asked to identify practical recommendations to support a move towards an optimum balance between detail, flexibility, process, decision-making and project outcomes for the planning and authorisation of NSIPs.

This thorough and inclusive research project has now concluded. NIPA’s AGM on 5th June 2017 launched the findings, and endorsed the recommendations and programme for action intended to take this work further forward. The NIPA Project Team would like to thank all research participants, the Member Stakeholder Group, and the NIPA Council for their input to this work.

We hope that this extensive body of work will provide useful insights into the planning and delivery of NSIPs, and that the recommendations provide a useful basis on which to incrementally enhance the system and the quality of the infrastructure projects that it is seeking to deliver.

There is more to do – the recommendations provide a wide range of progressive proposals for enhancing the planning, authorisation and delivery of NSIPs, and we look forward to working with Government and other partners in helping to deliver this, to the benefit of the projects, stakeholders, and society.

NIPA’s summary of the research, together with two reports from the UCL, can be accessed in the ‘Downloads’ section below.