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Developers want more planning focus on economic benefits

There are clear benefits for society through renewing and developing new business space and homes to support an expanding population.

The BPF is concerned that planners will not pay enough attention to the merits of planning applications that create new jobs and economic growth.

In its response, the BPF said that planning policy statement 4 (PPS4) did not place enough emphasis on the benefits of economic development.

The new PPS4 has been combined with PPS6 (which focuses on town centre policy); but having combined them, the economic focus is not strong enough. Former Treasury economist Kate Barker had previously called for the old PPS4 to be updated in her review of the land use planning system in 2006.

"Bringing these two documents together makes sense, but the promotion of economic development must not be watered down," said Jonathan Seager, BPF assistant director for planning.

The property industry is calling for a strong and unambiguous message to the planning system that sustainable economic development must be promoted, currently this new draft policy fails to achieve this.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "A good planning system must take account of the economic benefits of development. While we are very supportive of moves to streamline planning policy and reduce the number of statements, it appears that the benefits of economic development have become lost. Without it, proposed developments, which could bring jobs and investment to the local area, may not go ahead."

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