Planning Changes ‘Could Have Economic Knock-On Effect’

Expert Comments On IoD Growth Proposals


The Institute of Directors’ decision to highlight planning as an area which could provide major economic growth in the coming years has been welcomed by an expert at Irwin Mitchell.

In a paper published this week, the organisation proposed a number of policy changes designed to improve growth in a manner which leaves the taxpayer facing little or no costs.

Among the measures, which take in a range of areas from employment law to local government, is the call for a fast-track planning system which will boost the construction industry and help in the replacement of older infrastructures.

Discussing the proposals, Oliver Martin, who specialises in providing advice on planning issues at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said such plans in a way clash with the Coalition Government’s current proposals.

“It is certainly correct that planning can play a major role in stimulating economic growth in the UK. Changes to planning policy and legislation aimed at growth in the residential development sector would be particularly welcome given the potential knock-on effect that this can have for the wider economy.

“Unfortunately the Coalition Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, as set out in the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, are likely to have the opposite effect.

“A large number of residential development sites across the country have been effectively put on hold since Eric Pickles announced his intention to abolish the Regional Spatial Strategies in May 2010.

“The Government has left a policy vacuum and there is little confidence that the proposed New Homes Bonus or the changes in the Localism bill will provide the solution.”

Commenting on the IoD’s proposal on releasing green belt land for development, Oliver added: “There are large areas of green field sites, not designated as green belt, on which residential development could be promoted successfully if it were not for the Coalition government’s proposed changes to the planning system.

“The call for the release of vast areas of green belt land is not necessary at this stage and is likely to worry the public.”

For further information contact Oliver Martin.