Prime Minister 'resisting chancellor's calls' to ease green belt restrictions

Reports that Prime Minister Theresa May is 'resisting calls' from chancellor Philip Hammond to 'free green belt land for housing' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that the chancellor wants to use next month’s Autumn Budget "to continue to tackle Britain’s poor productivity, and the lack of housing in high-demand areas is regarded as a key factor". The newspaper says that "Hammond has been arguing within the cabinet for months that some of the protected countryside should be reclassified as part of a housing package that could allow extra borrowing to fund house building. A senior ally of Mrs May has insisted that the green belt is not on the agenda for the budget".

Times columnist Matt Ridley says that "openness to immigration and antipathy to building cannot both persist". He writes: "Those of us, and at least partly I include myself here, who like the preservation of all green spaces but also like welcoming immigrants should surely recognise that we are being hypocritical. We cannot have both."

The Telegraph reports that opponents have claimed that a major revision to the predicted economic benefits of a third runway at Heathrow has "trashed" government evidence in support of the controversial expansion. The newspaper quotes Paul McGuinness, chairman of the No 3rd Runway Coalition, saying: "An inescapable point about the figures is that when it comes to the economic argument, which was one reason Heathrow was backed in the first place, they now show the genuine possibility of Gatwick being ahead."

The Guardian reports that food courier service Deliveroo is setting up dozens of "dark kitchens" in "prefabricated structures for restaurants that want to expand their businesses without opening expensive high street premises". But the newspaper says that some of the sites have provoked "complaints from residents and councils, who accuse the company of bypassing planning rules".


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