New temporary chair of National Infrastructure Commission announced

Sir John Armitt CBE has been announced as the new temporary chairman of the government's infrastructure advisory body, replacing Lord Adonis who resigned last month.

Sir John Armitt CBE
Sir John Armitt CBE

Adonis announced his resignation as chair of the independent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) at the end of December.

In his resignation letter, Adonis said his work at the NIC had become "increasingly clouded" by disagreement with the government over the European Union Withdrawal Bill, which he described as "the worst legislation of my lifetime".

Now the NIC has announced that Sir John Armitt, the body’s deputy chair, will temporarily take over as chair while a permanent replacement is found.

Lord Adonis’ departure came at a critical time for the NIC, which is due to unveil its first national infrastructure assessment (NIA) this summer. The deadline for responses to its initial vision and priorities document, published in October, expires on 18 January.

In November, Armitt called for the creation of a "national spatial policy" to pull together the government's planning for industry, infrastructure and housing. Speaking at a dinner in London, Armitt said that "spatial planning has to be the starting point" for coherent planning for industry, infrastructure and housing. One of the reasons that such steps were needed, he said, was because current government policy would not be enough in itself to solve the shortage of affordable housing.

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