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LONDON-The UK Government is considering a radical overhaul of the town planning system. Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at No 11 Downing St yesterday that a Green Paper consultation document will be issued later this year on reforming the planning system.

Significantly, the process is being led by the Treasury, rather than by the Department of Local Government and the Regions, which has responsibility for planning matters. The Treasury wants to see a planning system that strikes the right balance between economic and environmental considerations and is flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of the regions.

Chancellor Gordon Brown, speaking at the launch of “Enterprise and the Productivity Challenge”, setting out No 11′s business strategy for the coming parliament, said: ‘The planning system is a key issue for business and the economy. Much of our planning system is based on the needs of the post war world. The Secretary for Transport, Local Government and the Regions will now bring forward detailed proposals for modernisation in a Green Paper on reform to the planning system, which we will publish later this year and which will strike the right balance in a radically different economy which puts an ever higher premium on speed, efficiency and flexibility–especially to reflect the widely differing needs of all our regions.’

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