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Leading think tank calls for death of the green belt

An influential think tank is set to call for the death of the Green Belt and the complete redesign of the planning system in the UK.

The Policy Exchange is to release a report - titled 'How Planning Prevents Economic Growth' - which attacks the planning system, claiming it has restricted the UK's economic success.

The document calls for the wholesale overhaul of the system, and echoes some of the details of the Barker Review of Planning, released at the end of last year.

The right-of-centre think tank has a series of key findings:

  • planning for development should be controlled and incentivised at the local level so that communities are confronted with the full costs and benefits of their planning decisions;
  • the national Green Belt policy should be abolished. Local communities should take sole responsibility for their environment;
  • projects of national significance, such as large transport infrastructure investment, should be decided at the national level to speed up development;
  • simplified planning zones should be reintroduced to reduce delay and speed up the planning system. In such zones planning consents would only have to be given in outline; and
  • the level of complexity in the planning system should be reduced. The system should only aim to coordinate development.
  • For more on the report visit

    by Ed Dorrell

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