South East UK needs £89bn, says new planning chairman

Aug. 2, 2007
Research shows that the South East's growth plans for the next 20 years will need at least £89bn investment in transport, schools, hospitals and flood defenses, the South East England Regional Assembly's Planning Committee heard this week. The Assembly and Environment Agency have jointly estimated that we need at least £42bn for flood defenses, water resources, maintaining water quality, waste treatment and countryside protection . This is on top of the £47bn already...

LONDON, UK, July 31, 2007 -- Research shows that the South East's growth plans for the next 20 years will need at least £89bn investment in transport, schools, hospitals and flood defenses, the South East England Regional Assembly's Planning Committee heard this week.

The Assembly and Environment Agency have jointly estimated that we need at least £42bn for flood defenses, water resources, maintaining water quality, waste treatment and countryside protection . This is on top of the £47bn already calculated for other infrastructure such as health services, schools and transport if the region is to grow sustainably.

The newly elected Chairman of the planning committee, Cllr Moira Gibson, said: "Recent flooding demonstrates the importance of adequate investment in infrastructure, including flood defenses and water supply. Some investment is in hand but there remains a significant funding gap. We will continue to press Government for more investment to make sure the South East's thriving economy keeps going; we need a bigger slice of the budget cake."

Cllr Gibson, Conservative Leader of Surrey Heath District Council, was elected Chairman of the Regional Planning Committee on 25 July. She added: "I am honored to be elected Chairman of the Planning Committee. We are dealing with important planning issues that affect local councils and communities so it is important we represent their interests in Government through democratic leadership." She takes over from Christine Field, who was Committee Chairman for two years.

Ian Hepburn, representing social and environmental partners, was elected Vice-chair of the Planning Committee.

The South East England Regional Assembly is a partnership of councils and communities in the South East region. It was established in January 1999 to give a representative voice to the region, which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

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