Commenting on the second reading of the Localism bill today, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
"The Localism bill must not become a vehicle for anti-growth campaigners to block growth and hinder the creation of much-needed jobs. There is a danger some of the bill's provisions on neighbourhood planning and referenda could have the unintended result of slowing much needed business investment, unless MPs act to ensure local businesses are still able to grow.
"Specifically, business is emphatic that the planning system - which is already too slow, too uncertain and too costly - is not hampered further. MPs must reject any efforts to introduce additional appeal rights which would have the effect of stoppping business expansion in its tracks.
"The Localism Bill will make the voice of local residents stronger. It must also ensure the voice of local business is heard. That means a business vote in local referenda, and awarding business ratepayers the same rights as council tax payers. Putting power in the hands of local people must not result in a victory for NIMBYs or the status quo. A truly radical approach would see business exempt from planning once local agreement has been reached."