Thursday 22 August 2019

Delays in infrastructure due to 'paralysis' - CIF

Crucial infrastructure development is being held up by
Crucial infrastructure development is being held up by "paralysis" in the public sector, a senior construction industry figure has claimed. Stock picture

Fearghal O'Connor

Crucial infrastructure development is being held up by "paralysis" in the public sector, a senior construction industry figure has claimed.

Key projects have not got under way in recent months because of problems with procurement, according to director-general of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Tom Parlon.

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"An awful lot of infrastructure projects that should have commenced under the Government's Project Ireland 2040 plan have been held up," he said. "Since the whole Children's Hospital and National Broadband Plan issues there has been paralysis in terms of procurement."

He cited delays in the commencement of a major road improvement project at Cork's Dunkettle interchange as a typical example of a scheme that was due to have reached the construction phase but which has not.

Decisions by some regulators are also creating uncertainty for the civil engineering sector, he said.

An aviation regulator proposal to cut airport charges had placed doubt over a €2bn infrastructure plan, while a utilities regulator decision to allow Irish Water to charge housebuilders €5,000 up front for each new connection was problematic, he added. He also hit out at Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on the re-use of soil from major construction projects.

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