Responding to the announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that it is launching a major new consultation on reforming planning laws, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Policy & Advocacy Chair Martin McTague said:
“It’s great to see government finally stepping into this area, the bureaucracy surrounding which has long dogged small firms.
“The current planning process is slow, complicated and far too cumbersome, putting small construction firms off building applications.
“For years, it’s been fraught with uncertainty and lengthy delays, making projects expensive before a shovel has even hit the ground.
“So the news of this plan to overhaul the system is a hugely welcome. We look forward to working with the Ministry and wider government officials to feed into this consultation and hone what will hopefully become a more productive and positive planning process.
“Businesses that want to extend or build new premises, whether that be in city centres or rural areas, will hopefully be able to speed up a process that can take months or even years, as well as lowering costs.
“The proposed measures also include exempting small firms from Section 106, a levy which has for so long priced businesses out of building work. This sort of proposal shows that the Government is serious about making the lives of small firms better.
“These plans will give a crucial injection of energy into the small business construction sector which has been devastated for years now by the financial downturn and tricky planning conditions.
“The past few months have been some of the most challenging that small businesses have ever faced and moves like this are crucial to aiding long-term economic recovery.”
As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.
FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk. You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.