Enterprise zones 'embarrassing' expert says

Planning experts have branded the government’s new enterprise zones plan “embarrassing” saying they would not attract heavyweight investors.

They called for more incentives for developers to revamp areas hit by the UK’s economic woes.

Newham Council planning chief Clive Dutton told a British Property Foundation debate that foreign investors were being left unimpressed by the enterprise zone blueprint.

Under current plans 22 commercial zones have been earmarked, with businesses to see preferential business rates.

The zones will have superfast broadband and planning rules will be relaxed to encourage developers to take part.

But Dutton said a scheme to make the Royal Docks in his borough an enterprise zone were being greeted with skepticism by investors.

“When we explain what an enterprise zone is, it’s embarrassing.”

He said that the entire cost of the zones nationally to the government was only enough to buy 1 ½ big macs for every Newham resident.

Alun Hughes, spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government hit back saying the zones would boost jobs and growth.

He added that the plans are open to change.

“This is about jobs and growth.”