Planning regulations to be reviewed

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Current planning regulations are too complicated and do not reflect the increasing demands put upon businesses, according to interim findings of an independent review into the English land use planning system.

The review was commissioned in 2005, by the Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister, to assess how planning policies and procedures can be better used to deliver economic growth for the UK.

Economist, Kate Barker, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, said: “A world-class planning system has to deliver the right balance between multiple public policy objectives; it also needs to be flexible and deliver decisions efficiently and effectively.”

Globalisation was found to be one of the most important issues impressing on the current system, demanding a faster and more efficient system to produce better economic growth and sustainable development.

Barker said that the current Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 is simplifying plan-making, taking out a tier of the system, however the system faced increasing pressure over the next 10 to 20 years.

The review found that England has some of the highest commercial land costs in the world. Barker said: “Prime occupation costs in Manchester and Leeds are 40 per cent higher than mid-town Manhattan.”

A final report with recommendations is due to be published later this year.

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