Cabinet to speed up construction projects

The cabinet is to speed up at least 58 major construction projects by relaxing planning and environmental rules, the Financieele Dagblad reported at the weekend.

The projects centre on renovations and new building in urban areas, road and rail building and renovating bridges and water courses, the paper says.
For example, the cabinet wants to scrap the requirement that environmental effect reports include alternative plans to the development on the table. In addition, the right of citizens and other companies to object to development plans is to be reduced.
These are ‘unusual times which require unusual measures,’ prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was quoted as saying after the Friday cabinet meeting. ‘The recession is deep and that is every reason to strengthen industry. Growth and jobs are more important than ever.’
The measures are expected to be formally announced in the September budget.

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