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PLANNERS CALL FOR POWERS LIMIT ON NATIONAL BODY

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Planners want the powers of the proposed National Planning Commission restricted so that councils lose control of a...
Planners want the powers of the proposed National Planning Commission restricted so that councils lose control of as few major infrastructure proposals as possible.

Gordon Brown pledged to introduce an independent commission of experts to decide on applications for large-scale projects, as recommended in the Barker review.

Planning Officers Society vice-president Steve Quartermain said the commission should be allowed to consider only the largest projects.

'The threshold should be set so that only genuinely national schemes, things like Heathrow Terminal 5 for example, go to the commission,' he said.

Rynd Smith, policy head at the Royal Town Planning Institute, said the commission must take account of councils and the public.

'There has to be community engagement and the right of people to be heard,' he said.

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