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Cable attacks ‘bizarre’ planning rules

Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a scathing attack on the planning system, describing it as ‘bizarre’ and an ‘impediment to growth’

Addressing a trade and industry dinner last week at Mansion House, Cable said: ‘Development is paralysed, often in parts of the country which need it most. I hear countless stories of perfectly reasonable developments being thwarted by bizarre planning rules.’

The business secretary raised his concerns that overly bureaucratic regulations are hindering regeneration efforts.

‘Sometimes obstruction prevents the transformative economic opportunity from taking place: the retailer that regenerates the town centre, or the international headquarters that instead decides to head elsewhere,’ he said.

Attempting to quell rumours of a split with communities secretary Eric Pickles, Cable went on to express his support for the government’s overhaul of the system.

He said: ‘Contrary to what you may read, Eric Pickles and I are at one on this. We want local communities to benefit from growth, and the standard answer to be Yes, not No. That is what we promise to deliver.’

Readers' comments (2)

  • Care to cite any specific examples Vince?

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  • John Kellett

    Simply restricting local authority powers to town planning (geography, economics and infrastructure) matters and preventing them from interfering in the design of individual buildings would be a start.
    Requiring all applications to be by suitably qualified agents (CIAT, RICS, RIBA/ARB) would also help, as in many countries outside the UK.
    Both are simple to legislate for and would increase local authority efficiencies.

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