Commenting on the publication of the Government’s simplified National Planning Policy Framework, Business West MD Phil Smith said: "There can be little doubt the current planning system represents a burden for the many businesses looking to either locate or expand their premises in the UK.
"Indeed for many of our urban areas in the West, the twin drivers of economic growth and wider population growth are not so much an option as a pressing reality. “The publication of the Government’s NPPF document therefore represents a positive step forward, towards delivering a planning system both business and this country so urgently needs.
"The document’s removal of unnecessary planning obstacles installs a positive 'can do' attitude, which will give companies the confidence to invest in premises, jobs and growth. “Whilst the NPPF is an encouraging start, we continue to stress the need for further reform. For example, we are consistently told by those local businesses that go through the planning system that they regard the information received from Local Authorities as either satisfactory or poor.
"Neither this nor the major cost implication associated with pre-application advice creates a healthy environment for business growth.”
PUBLICATION: Wiltshire Business - 28 March 2012