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Planning and procurement reform will create economic growth, says construction minister

Construction minister Mark Prisk said yesterday that the government’s planning and procurement reforms will stimulate wider economic growth by removing regulatory and investment barriers to infrastructure projects.

Prisk told the Association for Consultancy and Engineering Parliamentary reception that changes to government procurement, together with the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) — which aims to reduce 1,000 pages of planning policy to a 50 page document — will allow the construction sector to play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery, through government investment in infrastructure.

“There’s no point in making this investment if rules and regulations are getting in the way,” said Prisk. “We are reforming government procurement of major projects to strip out the bureaucracy and streamline the process, while also cutting the red tape in the planning regime through the NPPF.

“It’s not just about getting capital [to construct a project]; it’s about getting a project through the planning system.” Prisk also said that the “over 1,000 pages” of planning regime policy indicated that “something has gone wrong” with the planning system. The new NPPF is due to be enacted with the Localism Bill in April 2012.

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