Responding to the announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that it is launching a major new consultation on reforming planning laws, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy & Advocacy Chair Martin McTague said:
“It’s great to see government finally stepping into this area, the bureaucracy surrounding which has long dogged small firms.
“The current planning process is slow, complicated and far too cumbersome, putting small construction firms off building applications.
“For years, it’s been fraught with uncertainty and lengthy delays, making projects expensive before a shovel has even hit the ground.
“So the news of this plan to overhaul the system is a hugely welcome. We look forward to working with the Ministry and wider government officials to feed into this consultation and hone what will hopefully become a more productive and positive planning process.
“Businesses that want to extend or build new premises, whether that be in city centres or rural areas, will hopefully be able to speed up a process that can take months or even years, as well as lowering costs.
“The proposed measures also include exempting small firms from Section 106, a levy which has for so long priced businesses out of building work. This sort of proposal shows that the Government is serious about making the lives of small firms better.
“These plans will give a crucial injection of energy into the small business construction sector which has been devastated for years now by the financial downturn and tricky planning conditions.
“The past few months have been some of the most challenging that small businesses have ever faced and moves like this are crucial to aiding long-term economic recovery.”