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The Government has enacted a number of wider reforms in recent years aimed at securing the Government’s objective of a transparent, flexible, predictable, efficient and effective planning system. These include the reform of local and regional plan-making through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act in order to increase the transparency and flexibility of the system, the introduction of extra funding linked to delivery targets to increase capacity within the system and speed up the decision making process, and increased take-up of e-planning to improve customer service.

These reforms have already begun to deliver, with 55% of local authorities now meeting their target for determining major applications within 13 weeks, up from around 20% in 2003 and with progress being made towards the development of the new flexible Local Development Frameworks and Regional Spatial Strategies. There is also evidence of the planning system effectively balancing its economic, social and environmental objectives- in terms of business needs, for example, over 150,000 applications are processed each year of which over 80% of these are approved.

In the context of the increased competitive climate caused by globalisation the Government is committed to further reform, to ensure that planning delivers the development that England needs. The Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister therefore asked Kate Barker to conduct a review. The purpose of the review was to consider how, in the context of globalisation, and building on the reforms already put in place in England, planning policy and procedures can better deliver economic growth and prosperity alongside other sustainable development goals.

In particular the review has assessed:

  • ways of further improving the efficiency and speed of the system;
  • ways of increasing the flexibility, transparency and predictability that enterprise requires;
  • the relationship between planning and productivity, and how the outcomes of the planning system can better deliver its sustainable economic objectives; and
  • the relationship between economic and other sustainable development goals in the delivery of sustainable communities.

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Final report

The final report is available below in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.

The Government is interested to hear views on Kate Barker's final report. Comments should be sent to the e-mail account Barker_Review_of_Planning@communities.gsi.gov.uk no later than 5 March 2007."

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Interim report

The interim report is available below in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.

The Barker Review will be publishing responses to the Interim Report in due course. In the meantime if you would like a copy of a response to the Interim Report from any of the organisations/individual listed please contact Anne Perryman-McDonald on 0207 270 5352 or send a request to barker.review@hm-treasury.gsi.gov.uk

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Responses to the Barker Review of Land Use Planning

Kate Barker and the team are very grateful to those that have contributed to the Call for Evidence which was issued on the 24th January 2006 and to those who subsequently commented on the analysis contained in the interim report.

Research commissioned for the Barker Review of Land Use Planning

The Review commissioned a report from Paul Cheshire and Christian Hilber of the London School of Economics on the cost of regulation on the British office market. Please download the pdf document below to read their findings.

Call for evidence

In order to ensure the review’s analysis is based on the strongest possible evidence base, we have launched a call for evidence. Please download the pdf document which sets out the issues on which we are seeking views, alongside further details about the nature, scope and timing of the review.

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Kate Barker: biography

Kate Barker was appointed as an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee with effect from 1 June 2001. In June 2004, she was re-appointed for a further three years.

Previously, she was Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI (1994-2001), and prior to that Chief European Economist at Ford of Europe (1985-1994).

From 1999 to 2001, Kate Barker was a non-executive director of the Yorkshire Building Society.

She was appointed (by Government) in April 2003 to conduct an independent Review of UK Housing Supply; leading to a final report in March 2004. The Government’s full response to this Review was published in December 2005. In December 2005, she was asked to conduct an independent review of Land Use Planning, to report in late 2006.

In October 2005 she was appointed a Board Member of the Housing Corporation.

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