RAPID RESPONSES

Property wrongs

In Alex Morton’s argument for the liberalisation of planning law as the basis of addressing housing need [Our economy and housing supply are being held back by planning, yesterday], he argues for “a presumption against interference” by councils – only in the next paragraph to call for the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to buy up agricultural land. CPOs are one of the most draconian and interfering instruments of planning law, used to dizzying effect under New Labour’s disastrous Pathfinder Housing Market Renewal Scheme.

Objecting to this is not nimbyism – it is one of the foundations of liberalism: respect for property rights. Housing strategy should take into account the needs of people in all parts of the country – not just those whom he believes wish to live in suburban garden cities.

Michael Pooler