Housing and Planning Minister Margaret Beckett has announced proposals which enable smaller businesses to develop premises without needing full planning permission.
The cutting down on red tape involved within the planning system is the Government's response to the Killian Pretty report, published by the Departments for Communities and Local Government.
The proposals mean small businesses, shops, schools and hospitals, wanting to build small scale extensions, would no longer need to pay the costs, averaging £2,000, or wait weeks to start building.
Other small redevelopments such as the replacement of shopfronts would go through a smoother process also.
In a statement released today, Margaret Beckett said: "We need to reduce the burden on businesses and small shops, and ensure the planning system is not stifling economic recovery.
"These proposals could save up to £300m a year by building a more effective and more cost-efficient planning system."