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Dithering over projects damages the economy

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

INSPIRING: Award-winning tipi company World Inspired Tents is to compete in the national final.

INSPIRING: Award-winning tipi company World Inspired Tents is to compete in the national final.

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I'M WONDERING if I have developed powers of prophecy, writes Robert Zarywacz.

The other week Mrs Z asked my opinion on the Atlantic Array and I said I didn't think it would ever happen, so I wasn't surprised to hear it had been scrapped.

There's quite a few other projects I don't think will ever happen, but perhaps it's not prophecy but understanding of the culture of dithering that engulfs most major developments proposed in this country.

I feel it's the right decision that the Array is not being built because I suspect that by the time it would have been constructed the technology would have been obsolete and the wind energy fad would have petered out. We've been warned for well over a decade about the need for new power generating capabilities and if we'd acted earlier perhaps a coherent programme would have already been completed.

While in this case it was a private company that wasted millions on the project, it has still wasted the time – and money – of many people and businesses. I went to several events about the array and realise that if I could charge for all the time spent at consultations and meetings of this kind I'd never have to buy another Euromillions ticket.

So much time is spent dithering over projects from superfast broadband to new high-speed rail links, road improvement schemes, airport capacity, house-building programmes and more. Dithering is so damaging as it either wastes time on projects that don't go ahead or pushes up the cost of those that do.

I'm not necessarily in favour every development, which shows my age, but realise that millions of people want to live a 21st century lifestyle. What we do need is a fast, fair and proper process to consider arguments for and against a project, followed by a definite, unbiased and swift decision. This would cut out the endless consultations, which still don't seem to be taken into account, as well as the waste of businesses' time and the damaging uncertainty.

What a prosperous, efficient world we would live in. My prophecy is that we won't ever see it.

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