But construction minister declines call to combine listed and ancient buildings regimes

Construction minister Mark Prisk has said the government will reduce the number of hoops that developers must jump through before beginning construction.

Prisk was responding to a review into non-planning development consents carried out by Adrian Penfold, British Land¹s head of environment. He said the coalition would implement a ³one in, one out² approach, whereby a new regulation could only be introduced if an old one is scrapped. Other regulations will be reviewed, with an update to be published in the spring.

Prisk said: ³We must stop putting obstacles in the way of British businesses. They will be the driving force behind our economic growth.”

Penfold¹s recommendation for conservation area consent to be merged in with the planning system has been accepted, as well as merging various water consents in to the Environmental Permitting framework.

However, the government has rejected his call for the separate regimes for listed buildings and scheduled monuments to be combined. The government’s response said: “In the absence of legislation to create a new heritage protection system, DCMS and English Heritage will work together to ensure that the existing heritage consent regimes operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Penfold had also called for better information to be provided to developers, and for the government bodies responsible for managing consents to be given timetables to respond to applications.