Reform of planning system set to stoke controversy

Significant reforms of Britain's planning system were signalled in a Government policy statement in January.1 They include controversial proposals for greater use of parliamentary procedures to approve major projects and for truncating public inquiries. The system of regional planning guidance is also to be overhauled, with one aim being to use it to implement national policies on transport, minerals and waste - though here the Government's plans also raise important questions of democratic accountability.

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