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Growth and Infrastructure Bill ‘will cut construction red tape’

October 25th, 2012

The prime minister has revealed plans to cut red tape for construction projects in order to unlock infrastructure schemes and promote investment.

Billions of pounds might be added to the economy and thousands of jobs could be created through the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, it is said.

A range of measures will be introduced through the initiative, which is set to come into force today (October 18th).

Some of these include reforming the planning system to support energy developments, including gas market infrastructure valued at £160 million.

At present, companies have no methods by which they can vary their consents, which can prevent them from improving their proposals. As a result, a firm that wished to incorporate new energy efficiency devices or to add recent technologies to a building may find they are unable to do so.

Amendments to the Electricity Act will ensure these organisations will have to complete a three-month consultation instead of  having to apply for consent again when making ambitious or innovative changes to their schemes.

Furthermore, the levels of paperwork required for planning applications will be reduced, with Penfold Review recommendations being implemented to reduce the number of barriers to investment that exist.

Self-builders, commercial developers and large-scale businesses will all be able to benefit from these legislative changes, the government said.

The policy changes will also work to prevent business rates undergoing unexpected hikes, which should provide tax stability for companies.

David Cameron said the bill should help the UK to “compete in the global race”, as well as deliver an “aspiration nation where we back those who want to get on in life”.

“We are slashing unnecessary bureaucracy, giving businesses the confidence to invest, unlocking big infrastructure projects and supporting hard-working people to realise their dreams,” he declared.

“It is heartening to know that government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process,” chief executive of Land Securities Robert Noel said.

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