To some it seemed that the Treasury-inspired, regulatory view of planning which dominated the Thatcher and Major eras had seamlessly continued under New Labour. The Confederation of British Industry and the Treasury, armed with its McKinsey report on the negative impact of planning controls on UK PLC, appeared to be setting the agenda for planning through the Planning Green Paper (DTLR, 2001a). The ministers responsible for planning at the time, Stephen Byers and Lord Falconer, talked up the prospect of reform:
The present planning system is too complicated, too slow and engages insufficiently with local communities. We need to make it more efficient and more accessible so that it better serves everybody with an interest in the growth and development of their community, whether individuals, businesses or representative organisations.