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Subsequent CEO Lord Wolfson says planning guidelines are stifling economic system and society

The chief govt of Subsequent has referred to as for an overhaul of Britain’s planning guidelines as he warned that the present system is “holding again trade and society”.

Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise, 56, mentioned that attempting to construct shops of the fitting measurement within the locations the place folks need to store has been a “fixed battle” over the previous 30 years and “that’s replicated throughout the entire trade”.

“If you happen to ask any sort of enterprise, whether or not or not it’s power infrastructure, warehousing, distribution or name centres, and ask them to call their greatest considerations, planning goes to be prime on their record of points,” he mentioned. “The time it takes to get permission, the price of getting it and the shortcoming to construct what you actually need to construct is holding again trade and society.”

Constructing Subsequent’s warehouses might be faster than the three or 4 years it takes to get planning permission, Wolfson mentioned.

The businessman added that the present system, designed in 1947, additionally “slows down, prevents and will increase the price of constructing new properties. So there’s a profound social affect in addition to an financial affect from the way in which our planning system works.”

Wolfson, who has been a Tory peer since 2010, mentioned the “unlocking” of planning and giving much less energy to land homeowners could be the “key to driving progress and productiveness within the UK”.

“Relatively than the federal government having to provoke and determine the place folks stay, work, eat, sleep and take their leisure, have a system which begins with a free market, however a free market with rigorous controls and rules,” he mentioned. “When you can’t stop different properties being constructed should you personal a property, you may stop the constructing of issues that may harm the worth of your property. You’d find yourself with a system that enables the market to determine the place and the way issues are constructed.”

The retail chief, who studied regulation at Cambridge College, added that “you may see simply how a lot potential is locked up within the planning system by trying on the distinction within the worth of an acre of land with out planning permission versus an acre of land with”.

He defined that an acre of agricultural land was typically value about £15,000 and an acre of land with planning permission for housing could be value about £1.5 million.

Wolfson is likely one of the longest serving chief executives within the FTSE 100. The Subsequent boss was a distinguished supporter of the Conservative Occasion chief David Cameron and took a high-profile function within the 2010 election marketing campaign by organising the enterprise riot in opposition to Labour’s deliberate rise in nationwide insurance coverage.