Commenting on the Planning Reform Bill being put forward in Parliament today, Natalie Evans, Head of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

"The UK's current planning system is in clear need of reform. Present planning arrangements are risking the future competitiveness of our economy as several projects of national importance, in particular transport and energy developments, are beset with years of delay and uncertainty.

"The BCC's 2007 Transport Survey reflects the growing discontent within the business community. A staggering 93 per cent of respondents agreed that major transport infrastructure schemes take too many years to materialise. Furthermore, 87 per cent believe that the planning system for major transport projects is too bureaucratic in design and implementation.

"With evidence as compelling as this, we support the planning reform bill being presented in Parliament today and hope that effective changes will speed up what is currently a very frustrating and time-consuming process."