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Property chiefs welcome new planning policy

Some of the biggest names in the property industry have thrown their weight behind government plans to streamline the planning system.

The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – published for consultation today by the Minister of State for Decentralisation, Greg Clark MP – consolidates thousands of pages of planning policy into one 52-page document designed to expedite the planning process and establish a clear policy in favour of development and economic growth.

In March’s Budget announcement Chancellor George Osborne described the current planning system as an ‘obstacle to economic growth’. Under the new policy a proposed development that meets the principles set out in the NPPF will be given the go ahead.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: "Planning policy should be streamlined, succinct and to the point if it is to deliver the growth and sustainable development that this country needs.

"The new draft Framework follows closely the version submitted by the Practitioners Advisory Group which fully incorporated these principles. On that basis we will have no problem in giving today’s Framework our ringing endorsement."

Land Securities’ chief executive Francis Salway said: "It’s refreshing to have a concise national planning framework which supports and encourages growth, and at same time protects our heritage."

Chris Grigg, chief executive of British Land, commented: "The focus on economic growth is very welcome, while also acknowledging the important role that planning has in protecting the environment. We particularly welcome the presumption in favour of sustainable development and hope government adopts the NPPF as the key planning framework."

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