A former special adviser of the deputy prime minister has backed calls by Richard Rogers to streamline development agencies in growth areas.

Paul Hackett makes his criticisms in a paper published last week by the Town and Country Planning Association. In it he points out more than 40 local delivery vehicles have been set up since 2000, some with overlapping functions.

Hackett, who was Prescott's aide at the ODPM until last May, writes: "There does appear to be a case for streamlining or mergers where more than one LDV is operating in the same area."

Hackett's report echoes a key recommendation in Rogers' urban taskforce report update, which called for one agency to oversee development in the Thames Gateway as part of a bonfire of regeneration initiatives.

The report also describes many LDVs as "toothless". It says: "They lack the powers they need and are overreliant for support (and funding) on English Partnerships and the regional development agencies." He adds that some are "clearly creatures of the local authority".

There does appear to be a case for mergers or streamlining

Quoted from TCPA report by Paul Hackett

The British Urban Regeneration Association has backed Hackett's call for rationalisation in a separate report this week.

The publication of both reports coincides with the establishment of an LDV in Harlow, Essex, which has been earmarked for extra housing growth in Prescott's sustainable communities plan. The town's regeneration partnership is backed by Harlow council, EP and the East of England Development Agency.