When we think of economic protectionism we usually think of tariffs (taxes) imposed on imported goods to make them more expensive, or of businesses aggressively lobbying Government or the EU to construct barriers that will make it more difficult for others to enter the market place.
But protectionism does take other forms. Hull City Council is trying to protect the city centre from market forces by blocking the expansion of Kingswood Retail Park. Unsurprisingly, the owner of Princes Quay Shopping Centre and members of the city centre Business Improvement District (BID) agree. Jobs will be lost, they say, if Kingswood is allowed to expand. Robert Mellor, an independent planning inspector, agreed with them, but his is a pyrrhic victory.
Councils could, to a certain degree, get away with this type of policy in the past, but that was before the advent of online shopping. Continue reading “Attempted economic protectionism by Hull City Council will fail”