Planning System

Part of Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party 11:30 am, 14th May 2003

I am grateful for that reply, but does my hon. Friend accept that the UK's renewables industry has often faced very significant delays in obtaining decisions through the planning system, whether favourable or unfavourable? Given the considerable potential of renewables to deliver the significant environmental benefits that the Energy White Paper refers to, the extra jobs that could be created in the manufacturing and offshore industries, and the new income streams for rural areas that renewables could deliver, is it not now time that the planning system had a presumption in favour of renewables, rather than the neutral position that it currently takes?