New Clause 10 — Local Development Plan

Part of Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 9th December 2003.

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Photo of Mr Matthew Green Mr Matthew Green Liberal Democrat, Ludlow 2:15 pm, 9th December 2003

Time will probably tell us where the deficiencies lie in the Government system, as time has told us where the deficiencies are in the 1990 Act. Given what the Government have set out, and given the slight amendments that have been made over time, I think that the Government have made a reasonable stab. I think that they have moved in the right direction in creating flexibility, local decision making and accountability, and that that will lead to some speeding up of the planning process. However, I do not follow the mantra of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that speeding up the process is the be all and end all, and that British business would suddenly flourish even more if we speeded it up so that somebody could get an application through in a week. That is a lot of nonsense. We would do the public and business a great disservice if we pretended that that could be achieved. A well-structured, efficient and flexible planning system is what local business people and others want.