Letters to the Editor - 05/08 - Planning laws, tourist bonds, best of Twitter

Planning Laws

[Re: How hidden taxes and levies are pushing up UK house prices, Thursday]
Alex Prince, in his letter to the editor last Thursday, implies that opposition to building developments arises exclusively from a local desire to retain green spaces. But another key reason for nimbyism is that an adjacent development will often reduce the value of nearby property. It is no surprise that neighbours object when they realise that part of a developer’s profit will come out of their own pockets. If developers made sensible financial offers to neighbours, they may find fewer objections.

John F Davenport

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Tourist bonds

[Re: Poorly-designed immigration policies are damaging the London economy, Thursday]
Clarity is essential on this issue. We must avoid viewing visitors as immigrants. People here to study, on vacation, or for short-term work are not immigrants. People who come here for permanent or indefinite residence are immigrants. To conflate the two circumstances detracts from reasoned debate on the matter. And the author is right to point to the flaws in the planned £3,000 tourist bond. It is a bureaucratic, statist proposal that risks damaging London’s businesses.

Andrew Smith

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BEST OF TWITTER

Stephen Hester gets little credit for cutting RBS balance sheet by £600bn. It was a huge achievement.
@truemagic68

Help to Buy: UK house prices have risen 3.9 per cent over the past year, fastest growth since August 2010.
@notayesmansecon

New Iranian cabinet is quite balanced. All signs so far: Hassan Rouhani wants to create an opening with West.
@ianbremmer

Spot checks for illegal immigrants have no place in a free society.
@RichardWellings