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REGIONS TO HAVE POWERFUL PLANNING ROLE

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The government is proposing to give elected regional assemblies significant new planning powers. ...
The government is proposing to give elected regional assemblies significant new planning powers.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford announced the assemblies will be able to order councils to refuse strategic planning applications they believe are not in the region's interest.

They would be able to look across local boundary constraints and ensure planning decisions were taken in the wider regional interest, he added.

He said: 'The new power is a prime example of how responsibilities for policy can be decentralised from Whitehall in a clear and consistent manner.'

But the statement, which came as Parliament broke up for recess, outraged Tories, who just a day before had urged the government to come clean about the powers they intend for assemblies.

Tory shadow secretary of state for devolved government David Curry said Mr Raynsford had sneaked out the announcement to prevent it being discussed by MPs.

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