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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Building ‘free-for-all’ fears over planning moves

AN MP has blasted moves to speed up the planning process, saying a construction “free-for-all” is not the answer to economic woes.

The Government has outlined its ambition to shorten the time it takes developers to secure planning permission, a measure it hopes will help kick-start the economy.

A Bill is expected to be drawn up reducing the time allowed for appeals and judicial reviews relating to planning applications.

However, Copeland MP Jamie Reed said the plans smacked of a public relations exercise.

He said: “I will support efforts to secure economic growth, but a free-for-all is not the answer.

“This is not the certainty and security that developers need.”

David Harpley, conservation manager for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said he would like more clarity about exactly what the Government was proposing.

He said: “What it means to us, I am not entirely sure.

“I don’t think major development is generally held up by problems with planning permission here.”

Mr Harpley aded that recently the Government had attempted to reform planning rules, running into heavy opposition from the National Trust in the process.

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