Industry leaders speak out in CBI survey

An overwhelming majority of business leaders are concerned about the impact of the planning system on the delivery of infrastructure, according to a new report.

The survey of 447 businesses was due to be published yesterday as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) sets up a new infrastructure board to help shape future policy decisions. It showed that 98% of respondents believe planning delays and costs are a barrier to development.

The survey, carried out by the CBI and KPMG, highlights the extent to which businesses believes reform to the system is vital, despite the highly vocal and well-organised protests to reform as the government continues its grand battle to enact reform. 

98% of survey respondents believe planning delays and costs are a barrier to development

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said the organisation’s new infrastructure board would aim to help the government devise a workable framework for the delivery of reliable, resilient infrastructure.

The survey also found that 41% of construction companies think the government’s policies will not help the delivery of infrastructure, with the lack of a clear overall stratgey being the biggest barrier.

The infrastructure board will be chaired by Mark Elborne of General Electric, and will consist of the bosses of leading UK construction and financing firms.    

The CBI has appointed Steve Hindley, chairman of Midas Group, as the new chairman of its Construction Council.

Amid increased calls for the coalition to focus on infrastructure, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has spoken of the need for greater investment “to secure our future energy supply, mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and drive forward economic growth”.