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Planning White Paper published today

Communities & Local Government secretary Ruth Kelly will today reveal an overhaul of the UK's planning system which is expected to include the creation of an independent body to push through major infrastructure projects.
The planning White Paper is likely to recommend an independent planning commission is set up to review projects considered to be of national importance, taking these projects out of the control of local planning authorities.The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have attacked the plans, describing them as undemocratic and warning that projects such as nuclear power stations will be pushed ahead without consultation with local communities.But the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is expected to welcome the changes, and push for the Government to go further in the planning of infrastructure.'The Government needs to create a national framework so that decisions about national infrastructure projects like new roads, power stations and airports can be integrated into a development plan over a 15 year period,' said a RICS spokesman.

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