Charter wins local support

Planners in the North East have expressed their support for a regional chamber of commerce charter calling for a more efficient planning system.

The document calls on local planning officials to focus on enabling projects to go ahead rather than controlling development.

It sets out 34 actions for planning authorities, including clearly defined planning policies, better staffing levels in planning departments and closer contact with developers.

North East Chamber of Commerce head of policy Ross Smith said: "Precious few development opportunities are being brought forward as the public sector has no money to spend, so we need to make sure that any private sector inspired projects happen quickly."

RTPI North East spokesman Chris Clarke said: "Most planners would welcome more positive applications. We fully appreciate the importance of the construction industry and we are keen to take up these issues with the chamber."

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