Planning laws had been written to facilitate more construction, the Environment and Planning Commissioner has said.

Statistics were reflecting a building frenzy thanks to policies which favour the developer, David Pace told Times Talk.

Mr Pace was interviewed days after he issued a statement calling for laws to be updated to give the Environment and Resources Authority a greater say in planning decisions.

"The ERA has no legislative power. It has just a common voice like anybody," he said.

He urged the authorities to decline applications if they breach the "common good", even if the application might tick all the right boxes. 

He criticised the lack of enforcement in sensitive zones, especially in urban conservation areas.

Asked whether he felt political pressure was paving the way for more construction, he said there "may always be political pressure" but during his course of work he could never directly prove it.

On a positive note, he said awareness for preservation and conservation has increased in recent years, and dismissed suggestions that the often-cited anarchy in the construction sector could force people to give up.


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