The former chief executive of Barratt Developments David Pretty, is to head a new review intended to speed up Britain’s often sluggish planning system. Financial Times

The review, 'Planning Applications: a faster and more responsive system', will be announced today by Hazel Blears, communities secretary, and Caroline Flint, housing and planning minister.

The recent planning reform bill has changed the rules to make it easier for large infrastructure projects to pass through the system.

But the government wants to re-examine ways to improve the planning application process to make it more “user-friendly” and to eliminate red tape.

Developers have long complained their attempts to get a building off the ground are often delayed by a morass of paperwork and by slow-moving council bureaucrats.

Environmental lobby groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, however, dismiss such carping as the inevitable byproduct of a proper democratic process.