Government also increasing the burden of planning costs on sector, study finds

The coalition government introduced nearly double the number of planning regulations that the last Labour government did when it first came to power, a study by the Centre for Policy Studies has found.

The study concluded the current government has actually increased the cost and amount of regulation on the construction sector despite aiming to reduce it.

It found the government had introduced 278 regulations in the first half of 2011, compared with 150 in the first six months of the Blair government.

This was despite the Coalition’s self imposed one in/one out rule, which states no new regulation can be passed without another one being scrapped.

It said the 118 Acts of Parliament created a “lawyers’ banquet” in the planning system.

Tim Knox, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “The coalition is right to have identified the complexity of the current planning system as a major obstacle to growth.

“It should learn from the historic success of Milton Keynes and the plans for a new Garden City at Old Hatfield to see how implementing real reform can free up the planning process to the great benefit of both would-be homeowners and the wider economy.”

The report recommended widening the scope of the one in/one out rule and creating a more market-led approach to development by giving greater weight to the type of housing that people would pay for.