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SOUTH EAST GROWTH BILL IS£38BN, SAYS ASSEMBLY

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Key infrastructure needs across south east England amount to£38bn over the next 20 years, the South East England R...
Key infrastructure needs across south east England amount to£38bn over the next 20 years, the South East England Regional Assembly has told the Treasury. In preparing the South East Plan the Assembly has built up a robust evidence base on infrastructure requirements by working with local authorities, partners and delivery agencies on an extensive programme of research.

Responding to the Treasury's review of infrastructure needs for housing growth, the assembly says that regional implementation plans are crucial in identifying infrastructure requirements and co-ordinating funding streams. Failure to plan properly now will lead to higher costs in future years.

The Assembly also suggests that government should:

- Invest more in changing people's behaviour (eg how they travel and use resources) to reduce the need for additional infrastructure

- Speed up decisions to avoid costs escalating

- Encourage regulators to take into account long term infrastructure needs eg water, energy and rail

- Co-ordinate decisions better across all government departments

- Support the assembly's proposed Regional Infrastructure Fund

- Reconsider the scope of Planning Gain Supplement, the proposed new development levy

Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Assembly, said: 'Regional assemblies are best placed to advise government on infrastructure needs to support new housing. We welcome the opportunity to share our work and experience in planning for new infrastructure. This is such a vital element in the South East Plan; we know both what is needed and how it can be delivered. We would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Treasury on further details.'

Notes

1) View the Cross Cutting Review into Supporting Housing Growth at http:www.southeast-ra.gov.uk/our_work/advocacy/consultation.html2) The South East England Regional Assembly is the 'voluntary regional chamber' for the South East. It was established in January 1999 to give a representative voice to the South East region, which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, and Surrey.

3) The Regional Assembly is made up of 112 members including elected councillors nominated by the region's local authorities and 37 representatives from other sectors of the community (including business, trades unions, education, housing, health, sports, culture, tourism, faith groups, environmental, community and voluntary organisations) as well as the New Forest National Park Authority.

4) The Assembly has three areas of core business:

a) It is the representative voice of the South East, engaging and representing its member organisations and, through them, the wider public.

b) The Assembly has a specific role under the Regional Development Agencies' Act 1998 to ensure the accountability of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to the region.

c) The Assembly has been the Regional Planning Body for the South East since April 2001. It has responsibility for proposing strategic planning and transport policies to Government.

Please visit the South East England Regional Assembly's website for further information at www.southeast-ra.gov.uk.

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