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Barratt blasts lack of action by government over planning

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One of the uk's biggest home-builders has followed up a bruising attack on the government over housing with an attack on the planning system.

Barratt, which announced a highly profitable year despite a slowing in the market with turnover up 25 per cent to £891 million, said that the government's handling of the economy was stifling housebuilding and that projects were lagging behind schedule because applications were mired in delay.

A spokesman said: 'The government promised a full review of the planning system 12 months ago and nothing has happened. It said statistics showed 62 per cent of planning decisions were made within eight weeks, but that is not the full story. That figure is for all applications including shop signs and flag poles. In reality only 20 per cent of house-building applications for residential development are determined within the government target time.'

Frank Eaton, chairman of Barratt Developments, said earlier last week that the government was doing too little to make land available, and failing to support first-time buyers. Reductions in mortgage interest relief were hitting poorer people hardest, he said.

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