Spatial Planning & Infastructure - The Cost Effective Delivery of Essential Infrastructure - June 17, 2011

This report follows on from the earlier joint report by the Academy and Engineers Ireland on “Infrastructure for an island population of 8 million people” published in February 2010. The report is framed within the context of the current serious economic and social environment on the island of Ireland. Two serious problems confront Ireland and Northern Ireland concerning investment infrastructure:
  • Lack of available capital
  • Requirement for sustained investment in critical infrastructure to permit essential economic growth and the maintenance of international competitiveness
The report recognises that the current reduction in construction prices presents an opportunity to secure significant reductions in the non-construction costs of projects. These are reported to be in the order of 35% of construction costs. By streamlining processes and procedures for land acquisition, planning, public procurement, institutional arrangements, training and skills, funding and financing mechanisms and through synergies between projects in Ireland and Northern Ireland, major cost reductions can be achieved. In the Infrastructure Cost Review recently conducted by Infrastructure UK, they estimated that savings in the order of Stg£2bn per annum may be possible. A similar, pro-rata saving should be possible in this island’s infrastructure capital investment programmes. The report specifically recommends the establishment of a National Infrastructure Authority charged with the planning, procurement and delivery of significant linear and strategic infrastructure projects. Its establishment would rationalise and simplify the number of organisations engaged in these processes and reduce associated costs. This report is being circulated to the relevant Government Ministers and Departments, State-Sponsored bodies, Business and Industry parties, Local Authority Managers, Academic interests and the Media. It is being done with a view to influencing policy formation, as a source reference document and a set of recommendations designed to maintaining national competitiveness while promoting economic growth. The report may be accessed at: Spokespersons can be contacted at (01) 6651337.