GE2017 – planning system responsible?

I’m conscious I haven’t posted for a while.  In lieu of a proper update I thought it worth sharing this article by the editor of the unashamedly free-market CapX website which lays the Conservative’s disappointing (to them, at least) performance squarely – if indirectly – at the door of the planning system.

Emphasising the well-established link between voting Tory and home ownership, more advanced years and, generally, entry into “rural and suburban affluence”, he argues that the Conservatives have little future if the age at which people can buy their own homes – and so start to have pro-Conservative leanings – continues to recede into the distance because of NIMBY local attitudes to development.

‘Building more homes, in other words, is not just overwhelmingly in the national interest, but overwhelmingly in the Conservatives’ interest. Better get started.’

Whilst to me this seems to over-simplify the underlying causes of the lack of housing (I certainly don’t think planning helps but nor is it fair to present it as the only culprit) the picture he paints of usually pro-market Home Counties Tories passionately resisting development using whatever grounds a cumbersome, over-regulated planning system provides them with – and in so doing hastening their own electoral demise – is  wearingly and frustratingly familiar.

And sadly, by encouraging the Conservatives to tack leftwards to try to hunt more votes, to my mind at least they perhaps make it less, rather than more, likely that this housing will actually get built.

Anyway – it’s the first time I’ve seen planning directly blamed/thanked* for last week’s results.

(* delete in accordance with your political persuasion.)





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