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Proposals published today will help streamline the planning system and cut red tape, said Planning Minister David C...
Proposals published today will help streamline the planning system and cut red tape, said Planning Minister David Curry.

Publishing three consultation documents, Mr Curry said: 'I have reviewed planning legislation to see if procedures could be simplified and red tape eliminated. The proposals I am publishing today will help streamline the planning system by reducing the number of decisions on minor applications. This will free planners to concentrate more fully on major planning projects of importance to their area and the local environment.

'The proposals would: allow minor alterations to some commercial premises without the need for a planning permission; simplify the procedures which control outdooradvertisement and display; remove duplication between planning controls and health, safety and pollution controls at some industrial premises.

Mr Curry said: 'These small applications burden commerce and industry as well as the planning system. Planning Committee agendas are thick with minor applications which clog up the system and which are nearly always approved.

'For example, at the moment a planning permission is needed for the construction of a bicycle shed in the grounds of a school or for a refuse bin store at the back of a shop. Another example is the consent needed to display signs at petrol stations on brands, prices and cards accepted. Subject to suitable safeguards, detailed in the consultation papers, we can eliminate a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy here.

'This will leave local authorities with more time to deal with things that really matter - the preparation of development plans and ensuring that important proposals can get ahead promptly.'

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