Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Monday, 10 October 2011 18:41 UK

Communities and local government committee

The government's proposed reform of planning laws in England was given a cautious welcome during the opening session of an inquiry by the Communities and Local Government Committee on 10 October 2011.

The National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) was published during the summer and is a key aspect of the reform package.

It introduces a "presumption in favour of sustainable development" but environmental campaigners say it could lead to "unchecked" development.

The proposals streamline more than 1,000 pages of planning policy into 52, which the government says will make it more accessible and understandable.

Dr Adam Marshall, representing the Confederation of British Industry, said it would make the planning law simpler for business to understand.

Meanwhile John Rhodes from consultancy firm Quad Planning said it was a "positive plan for development" and would be good for localism.

The NPPF gives an increased emphasis on noise and light pollution, as well as facilitation of renewable energy projects.

However Alex Morton from the Policy Exchange think tank raised doubts over whether the reforms would work, saying the government should have implemented more "radical" changes.

Communities and local government committee membership

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