Britain Seeks to Ease Land Use Regulations to Stimulate the Economy

According to Prime Minister David Cameron, planning regulations are the boogeyman holding back the UK's economy. Thus, in an effort to boost construction, Cameron is proposing to ease the country's rules on which projects require planning approvals.
September 15, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Kickstarting the United Kingdom's economy, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, 'starts with getting the planners off our backs,'" notes Nate Berg. Pointing the finger for the UK's faltering economy at municipal red tape, "The Prime Minister says planning regulations have apparently prevented many people from taking on home improvement projects and room extensions, such as the expansion of kitchens or the building of 'conservatories.'"

It may not sound like much, but by lengthening from 4 to 8 meters the distance new construction can extend from the rear wall of any home without requiring planning approval, Cameron hopes, "more homeowners will employ the services of local builders and contractors to take on construction projects that had either been pushed off or deemed too complicated to pursue because of the planning requirements."

Critics in the opposition party responded to Cameron's proposal with a reality check: ""What is the real problem we have in the economy today?" asked opposition leader Ed Miliband. "It is a lack of confidence and lack of demand. I don't think it's the rules on conservatory extensions."

"Others have argued that there are nearly 400,000 approvals in the system for homes that have yet to be built, and that the real problem is that people don't have the economic means to build them, not that they can't get approval," writes Berg.


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Published on Friday, September 14, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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