Headlines: December 8th, 1998

A new report de-bunks some of the myths about people in business thinking that Britain’s planning systems are full of unnecessary red tape.”The Economic Consequences of Planning to the Business Sector” finds that businesses accept the planning process as a necessary part of British life, and that it is less of a burden on business than other forms of regulation.

But businesses do want modernisation, more efficiency, and a greater say.

Planning Minister Richard Caborn said: “Business sees land use planning as an accepted part of their environment. But they clearly want to see a more efficient and proactive system and they have a right to expect it. I want to see all planning applications dealt with expeditiously. I also want to see an improvement in the speed of producing development plans.

“I note the report’s finding that business does not feel it has much of a voice in the planning system. That has got to change. There is certainly a need to involve business much more in the planning process. My message to planners is to talk to businessmen. My message to business is make yourself heard”.

The report was prepared for the Department by Berkeley Hanover Consulting. It is obtainable, price 27 pounds, from the Publications Sales Centre, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Unit 21, Goldthorpe, Rotherham S63 9BL Tel 01709 891318.