Engineers Ireland welcomes Local Infrastructure Fund but says single unit with Infrastructure focus

Engineers Ireland welcomes Local Infrastructure Fund but says single unit with Infrastructure focus urgently needed

14 June 2016 at 18:05

Engineers Ireland welcomes today’s announcement (14 June) that the Government will introduce a new Local Infrastructure Fund of €200 million to progress housing development in Dublin and other urban areas but says that “current planning in Ireland is inadequate and based on short-termism, and that a new approach was required to ensure the country had a platform that would sustain the recent economic recovery.”

Director General of Engineers Ireland, Caroline Spillane said: “We welcome the announcement by Government to introduce the Local Infrastructure Fund which should encourage the development of housing by reducing the costs associated with construction, such as access routes into housing estates, added amenities and other infrastructure which are important to deliver sustainable, progressive communities.

“We know that investing sensibly in infrastructure always gives a positive return on expenditure. However, at 2 per cent of GDP, we know that current and planned infrastructural spending is far too low and must be in the order of 4 per cent to meet our infrastructural needs.”

Ms Spillane added: “Engineers Ireland believes a single infrastructure unit is needed to sustainably plan investment in key areas - not just in housing - but across transport, education, health, energy, water and the digital economy.  As things stand, planning and delivery in these areas are spread across Government departments, each competing for finite funding, with multiple layers of decision-making and little central oversight. We believe an independent assessment of our long-term infrastructure needs is required, and then a single planning and delivery unit charged with prioritising and driving critical initiatives is what is required.”