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AIRBNB: Tory 'free marketeers' attack Gove over short-lets clamp-down

jacob rees mogg

Michael Gove’s plans announced yesterday to require owners of holiday lets in tourist hotspots to get planning permission for their properties has not gone down well in some quarters of the Conservative party.

The proposals, which are being consulted on until early June by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, have been slammed by several figures on the right of the party, who claim the measures are ‘anti-business’.

Writing on Twitter former housing secretary Simon Clarke said today that: “So many of our interventions in the housing market, from anti-business ones like this to very costly demand-side subsidies like Help to Buy, stem from our failure to build enough homes, and to make the argument to the public about why this matters”.

His comments were supported by former business secretary and free marketeer Jacob Rees-Mogg (main picture) who, speaking on TV, questioned why property owners should not be able to rent their homes out “to whosoever they liked and freely – what has the Government got to interfere and create cost and regulation for people who aren’t creating any harm”.

Divisions

His comments are entirely at odds with yesterdays announcement by Gove, suggesting divisions are now beginning to appear within the Conservative party on housing policy.

The consultation launch yesterday was emphatically on the side of communities where more properties are being turned over the short-let holiday rentals, albeit without damaging local tourism.

“The government has listened to calls from local people in tourist hotspots that they are priced out of homes to rent or to buy and need housing that is more affordable so they can continue to work and live in the place they call home,” the announcement said.

“The proposed planning changes would support sustainable communities, supporting local people and businesses and local services.”

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