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ACE manifesto clashes with Tories on planning

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CONSULTANTS AND the onservative Party appeared to be at odds over planning policy this week as the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE) and the Tories published their election manifestos.

The ACE called for speedier planning decisions and a consistent national policy, saying these would benefit business.

But the Conservative Party manifesto published on Monday calls for a more localised approach.

'Local communities will have a greater say over planning decisions. With greater power for local people will come less interference from central government, ' it states.

The Conservatives appeared closer to the ACE's demand for transport improvements, although the Conservative manifesto was vague in its commitment to 'modernise Britain's road network'.

It also offered longer franchises to successful train operators, in the hope of attracting more investment in stations and rolling stock.

Unsurprisingly, the Green Party promised to cut £30bn from road-building allocations by 2010. It wants to switch it to urban tram and light rail ystems to encourage a 10% drop in road traffic.

All three groups support encouraging sustainable development and energy effi ciency.

A Conservative government would also support the development of a broad range of renewable energy sources, its manifesto says.

The Green Party says 200,000 new jobs would be created if Britain exploited its climate and coastline to lead Europe in renewable energy generation and carbon emissions trading.

Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos were expected later this week Ian Lawrence

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