Asked to comment on David Cameron’s speech to the Conservatives’ spring conference in which he described "town hall officials who take forever with ... planning decisions" as being among the "enemies of enterprise", Farrell said that planning departments in the UK focus on development control rather strategic planning.
"Planning in the creative, forward-thinking sense doesn’t really exist in the UK in local authority planning departments," he said at the Mipim property event in Cannes. "It’s development control that sits there.
"Most of the strategic planning is done by large land holders in the private sector or jointly with the public sector."
Farrell was speaking at the launch of the masterplan for the redevelopment of the Earl’s Court exhibition centre and its surrounding areas at the Mipim property conference in France.
"Earl’s Court is driven by the private sector because they can employ creative planners. A lot of the land is publicly owned, but the public sector hasn’t had the resources or the skills now for 50 years to do strategic planning," said Farrell.
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