Planning in the media

If one phrase has entered the lexicon of abuse it is John Reid's "not fit for purpose". The announcement of a second public inquiry into proposed motorway service stations in the Solihull green belt sent the Birmingham Post into a frenzy. The first inquiry lasted years and ended with the secretary of state saying he was "minded to approve" a proposal that would swallow up ancient woodland in the Meriden Gap. The final go-ahead never came though and a proposed expansion of Birmingham Airport now aims to use the same land. This uncertainty has left campaigners "wondering whether the planning system in this country is fit for purpose", said the paper. It blamed it all on the "failure of government departments to talk to each other".

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