The Prime Ministers pledge to put reforms of the planning system at the heart of the drive for economic growth has been greeted with cautious optimism by a Birmingham-based planning expert.

David Cameron announced in a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, that the pursuit of economic growth will now come before all other concerns.

Plans include strict new curbs on the legal right to ask for a judge to review controversial planning decisions.

The rules, he said, are being abused to frustrate economically vital developments and solicitors and campaign groups are fuelling a growth industry of seeking judicial reviews of planning decisions.

Stephen Hemming is the regional head of planning and regeneration at national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton and is based in Birmingham.

He said: We welcome Mr Camerons commitment to planning reforms and to stripping away the barriers to investment. Frivolous objections to planning applications dont benefit anybody but, of course, there have to be checks and balances in the system.

This latest announcement reflects the Governments new initiative in terms of coupling and associating tax rises and a greater tax take with investment in new infrastructure projects to drive the economic recovery.

Mr Cameron told the CBI that many judicial review applicants are guilty of time-wasting and bringing hopeless cases simply to waste developers time.