Next chief executive Lord Wolfson of Aspley Guise has attacked planners for holding back economic growth.
Wolfson urged legislators to “release the breaks on growth”, such as planning rules, in the prosperous south of England while stimulating growth in deprived areas such as the North by the creation of enterprise zones.
“At the top of the list of anti-economic institutions must come our glacial planning system, its rules and some of our planners” Wolfson wrote in a column for The Times.
“Far too many see their job as preserving that which exists rather than the creation of new wealth and jobs.
“The problem is that the Luddite voices of those who object to growth are loud while the jobs, homes and businesses of the future have no voice, no campaign group and no votes.
“I had an extraordinary meeting with the officials of a local council on the South Coast. I came with a proposal for at least 150 new jobs, investment of £4m and a vastly improved retail offer for local people.
“Their economic development officer breezily explained that the creation of new jobs was not really a concern for him, unless they were for high-paid workers.”
Wolfson also wrote that the effect of food and fuel price rises alone is equivalent to taking £10bn a year out of consumers’ pockets.
He said that raising interest rates would not curb inflation because much of it is driven driven by international factors such as the increased price of cotton.