Utility bosses have joined a coalition of business, industry, environmental and academic leaders to help inform the work of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).

The group, which includes Thames Water and National Grid, is calling for evidence to help create a “vision” for the country’s infrastructure up to 2050.

National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday said: “Infrastructure carries the life blood of our nation. It is essential to our way of life but we must recognise the impact it can have on local communities and the environment.

“Finding the right balance between all these things is crucial. We welcome initiatives like this that help long-term planning for the UK’s infrastructure needs, essential to getting the right answers for future generations.”

The ‘National Needs Assessment’ will look at important trends such as climate change, population growth and technological “game changers”.

The coalition will publish a report in the autumn laying out a series steps to achieve the vision, which will help inform the work of the NIC.

The report’s chair and commissioner for the NIC John Armitt said: “This coalition of leading organisations has united to provide the commission with an independent view on infrastructure, which it can feed into its work.

“We all share a common goal – the development of a long-term infrastructure strategy which drives the economic growth necessary to enhance the UK’s position in the global economy, support a high quality of life and enable a shift to a low-carbon future.”

The Chancellor announced the establishment of the independent NIC in October last year to drive development in the UK’s key infrastructure projects, and appointed Labour peer Lord Adonis to lead the plans.

Last week industry experts called on the government to treat carbon capture and storage as a form of infrastructure.

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