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Liberal Democrats would scrap regional development agencies

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to scrap both regional development agencies (RDA) and the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) if they win the next General Election.

Labour is hoping to introduce the IPC in summer 2010 to allow large infrastructure projects to go through a streamlined planning process, likely to take one year. The Conservatives have previously said they would also get rid of it.

The party also announced it would get rid of all nine RDAs, in a bid to reduce the number of quangos.

Liberal Democrat communities and transport adviser Alice Douglas said: ‘We fully support the national planning statement, but think that rather than going to the IPC, decisions should remain with local councils.’

At the Liberal Democrat’s party conference in Bournemouth, shadow chancellor Vince Cable said there were too many quangos and government officials overseeing local government.

The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, the Building Regulations Advisory Committee and two Thames Gateway development corporations would merge under the reform.

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