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Directors want to 'override' local planning objections

Construction firms should be allowed to build on green belt land to help boost the industry, bosses have said.

The recommendation is from a paper published by the Institute of Directors outlining its wishlist for changes to government policy that it says would help grow the economy “at little or no cost to the taxpayer” during the period covered by the spending review.

It says ministers are doing too little to boost the supply side of the economy, and calls for a “genuine” fast-track planning system for major national projects. “Local objections will need to be overriden,” it says.

The institute also wants proposals to allow local authorities to set business rates to be scrapped and says the regional growth fund should be aimed at “winners not losers” by targeting cities.

Directors would like all future profits from sale of state-owned bank shares to be earmarked for national infrastructure projects “particularly those transport and energy projects that are unlikely to proceed on the basis of private capital alone”.

The paper also calls for a minimum £500 employee deposit in employment tribunals “to deter weak cases so that managers can focus on business growth” and says the rights to request both flexible working and time off for training should be scrapped because they create too much red tape for firms.

The institute’s Miles Templeman said: “The government’s deficit-reduction strategy is central to improving growth prospects and the overall business environment but the government also needs to reform the supply side of the economy to boost the private sector.

“Many of the measures we have proposed today are long overdue and would improve the UK’s infrastructure and the functioning of its labour market.”


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