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Examination of Witnesses

Part of Growth and Infrastructure Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:29 am on 13th November 2012.

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Mike Spicer: I would agree with that completely. Broadly speaking, yes, we would be in favour, but there are clearly some complex issues to be taken into account about the kinds of developments that would be appropriate. For example, if you are talking about a large retail park that might be of national significance, such as a large shopping centre, how does that play out with a “town centre first” policy? There are clearly areas that need to be looked at more closely, and that is something that we will go back to our members about.

More broadly, the kind of development that we would like to see benefit from the clause would be, for example, where you have a large industrial development that is nationally significant not necessarily in the sense of floor space, but in the sense of being a company that is really contributing to getting Britain’s trade deficit down through its export activities. We would like to see companies in those kinds of situations benefit from a faster planning regime, of course. I think that it is going to be about how we express that in terms of the thresholds, so that those kinds of commercial developments—ones that are really about contributing to Britain’s growth, particularly export-related growth—benefit from this kind of clause.