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Government cuts “planning permission” red tape for SMEs

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More small businesses will soon be able to develop their premises without needing full planning permission, it was announced today.

This change to the existing regulation will remove nearly 40 per cent (31,500 a year) of minor business and non-residential applications from the system, making them subject to a quicker and simpler processes.

Small businesses, shops, schools and hospitals wanting to build small-scale extensions will no longer need to pay the costs (on average £2,000) or wait weeks to start building. Other small redevelopments, such as the replacement of shop fronts, will go through a smoother process.Housing and planning minister Margaret Beckett says, "Right now, in these difficult economic times, we need to reduce the burden on businesses and small shops, and ensure the planning system is not stifling economic recovery.

"Creating a more proportionate and efficient planning applications system now, means we are more likely to have crucial development and infrastructure in place when the economic upturn comes.

"These proposals will cut red tape and tackle the delays that both businesses and councils often find exasperating and costly. And they could save up to £300m a year by building a more effective and more cost-efficient planning system."

Business secretary Lord Mandelson adds, "Simplifying an unnecessarily complex and frustrating planning system will provide much needed help, saving time and money for, and encouraging new development and growth by business."

Have you been stung by planning regulations in the past? Will these changes affect your business? Let us know in the Real Business forum.

Related articles Online firms face strict regulation Mike Clare: "Give start-ups a (tax) break" David Cameron: UK must be better place for enterprise

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