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LONDON-The UK planning system has come under attack from the Confederation of British Industry. Digby Jones, director-general of the employers’ body said the inefficiency of many planning departments was thwarting growth and causing economic damage to regional development and the competitiveness of the UK.

“Business people don’t expect their requests to be granted every time, but they need more certainty. If an application due to take six months ends up taking 18, investment is driven away and jobs are lost,” he said.

Digby-Jones called for more accountability in the planning system, with local authorities being forced to adhere to published timescales for business applications. “A government that is putting delivery at the top of its agenda has to deliver on planning. It is time for hard choices and action,” he told the CBI’s South and South-Eastern branch.

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