Rees Mogg – ‘Country Would not Wear It’ if Whole of England Was an Investment Zone

He meant conservative areas would not wear it as they are almost universally in Labour LPAS


even the Conservatives’ most enthusiastic free-market champions quail at the prospect of planning liberalisation. At a fringe event at the Tory conference in Birmingham, IEA director Mark Littlewood asked the Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg why, if the Government’s mooted “investment zones” of looser planning laws are so great, they couldn’t just make the whole UK into one big investment zone. “Because the country wouldn’t wear it,” replied Mr Rees-Mogg immediately. “Governments have to go with the grain of what the electorate want and what the electorate want is planning control.”

The next day, answering questions from Evan Davis on Radio 4’s PM, John Redwood, another staunch free-market voice, was asked whether his own party might be “anti-growth” on, for example, the issue of planning. “Yes, there are occasionally Conservatives, myself occasionally, who say we don’t want to have all this housing investment in our particular area, why don’t we spread this housing investment around a bit more places that need investment?” said Mr Redwood. “But we’re not against investing in houses; there are sometimes arguments about where exactly they go.” There’s a short-hand for this: “Not In My Back Yard.”

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