The government has promised 'wholesale change' in the planning system after it admitted that business was right to see the existing regime as complex, slow and unpredictable, reports the Financial Times(p4). Planning minister Lord Falconer told the Confederation of British Industry conference in Birmingham yesterday that the ramshackle system 'costs us dearly in economic prosperity, in quality of development and in competitiveness.' He said business 'has no confidence that sensible long-term planning decisions on its part will be reflected in clear long-term decisions by the planning system. Business does not have confidence in the system, and it is right.'
PROTESTS M AY GROUND HEATHROW'S FIFTH TERMINAL
BAA's attempts to build a fifth terminal at Heathrow airport have entered the history books for triggering the UK's longest public inquiry, reports the Financial Times(p4). Eight years after the original planning application was filed, in February 1993, the world's leading airports group, which operates seven airports in the UK, still awaits a decision.
MINISTERS FACE CALLS FOR COMMISSION TO ADDRESS VOTER APATHY
Ministers face scathing commons criticism today for their 'extremely complacent' attitude to the fall in the number of people voting at elections, according to The Independent(p10). The commons public administration select committee called for the creation of a democracy commission to combat the 'civic crisis' of the slump in voter turn-out.