The Bartlett


Infrastructure investment to promote sustainable economic growth

Bartlett research led to the development of Infrastructure Delivery Planning (IDP), which significantly influenced government policy and legislation on local planning.

An integrated deliverability system for planning infrastructure

In 2004, the UK government introduced a new integrated deliverability system for planning infrastructure.

In 2007, UCL researchers led by Professor Janice Morphet, Professor Nick Gallent and Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones (The Bartlett School of Planning) collaborated with Deloitte. They aimed to identify the barriers to good planning created by this new system and how to overcome them.

They found that the essential elements of effective spatial planning must include a new and broader role for planning within local authorities, linked with infrastructure provider partners in all sectors.

They also argued that the regulatory role of planning in local government and development management should have a key role in infrastructure delivery and that partners should work towards greater cooperation.

These findings made the case for two new tools: local and regional infrastructure programmes. Each comprises an infrastructure fund managed by an infrastructure group, which would deliver more effective resource management and coordination based on an agreed plan.

The UCL research recommendations

The UCL research recommendations to the Local Government Association authorities needed clear messages about the changing requirements for infrastructure delivery planning. Commissioned authorities also needed clear messages about the changing requirements for infrastructure delivery planning.

As a result, IDP methodologies developed from UCL research are now used by all 346 local authorities in England (an increase from zero in 2007) as a baseline for local planning, public and private sector investment.


Since 2011, these methods have also been used to calculate Community Infrastructure Levy and development contributions.

In London, IDP supported the case made by the Mayor for developer contributions to and infrastructure investment for initiatives including Crossrail 2.

The findings on the importance of integrated approaches to planning now support neighbourhood plans and strategic infrastructure planning through Local Enterprise Partnerships. Local examples include:

  • the development of integrated local investment telecommunications in Croydon (2010)
  • integrated planning within a corporate environment in the London Borough of Redbridge (2012).

UCL researchers support this by creating both a community of practice and by developing learning modules and providing training. In 2008, Professor Morphet developed a practitioner guide on IDP that is widely used by local authorities.

An integrated investment approach

While previously infrastructure providers often worked in isolation, risking duplication, IDP has been a means to integrate services:

  • In 2009–2011, the Surrey police force was able to close expensive sites and relocate services to town halls and libraries.
  • In Lancashire and Cumbria, United Utilities improved their water supply management and new development plans.
  • In Sunderland, primary health services were delivered jointly with older people’s housing.
  • In the Black Country and Greater Manchester, each statutory authority produced a single integrated infrastructure investment programme for their economic area.

Community decision-making

All local authorities using IDPs engage in community decision-making as an integral part of the process, whereas previously this was a separate process.

This has led to infrastructure investment being based more on community priorities. For example, in areas of London such as Lewisham, Camden and Wandsworth, it’s meant more efficient use of scarce accessible land resources and the use of brown-field sites for housing. In Bristol, the IDPs were used to make a case for major investment in a public transit link in 2011.