UK planning legal guidelines ‘obstacle’ to investing | EUROtoday

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The boss of the world’s Most worthy pharmaceutical firm has advised the BBC that the UK’s planning system places firms off investing within the nation.

Dave Ricks, chief govt of the weight problems drug producer Eli Lilly, mentioned he had thought of constructing a manufacturing facility within the UK within the final decade, however selected one other nation as an alternative.

He warned present planning processes have been an “impediment” to constructing factories at pace, in contrast to within the US and Ireland.

“Mostly what they do is they pre-reserve land, they promise to cut through the red tape and layers of government,” Mr Ricks mentioned.

Eli Lilly, together with its Danish rival Novo Nordisk, has developed a substantial lead over the remainder of the pharmaceutical trade on the subject of weight problems medicine.

Its medicine, which embrace Zepbound and Mounjaro, are in such demand that the corporate can’t construct factories shortly sufficient.

The nation has operations within the US, Ireland and different European Union international locations together with Italy, France and Germany.

Mr Ricks mentioned international locations that “could present a path” wherein the time taken to arrange a pharmaceutical plant was decreased from 5 years to 2 was “very attractive”.

“In the UK – although I love visiting, it’s a wonderful county – it’s not the largest market so you have to overcome that with other attractiveness, whether that be workforce, asset delivery or economic incentives,” he mentioned.

“You have to be candid, say ‘are we as competitive as we can be?’ And to date it’s been a little bit less, but I think it’s not unachievable.”

Both the Conservatives and Labour have made manifesto pledges on planning legal guidelines.

The Tories have mentioned they might “simplify the planning system”, whereas Labour has vowed to reform it if it wins the upcoming basic election.

A spokesperson for Labour mentioned: “After 14 years of indecision, life sciences in the UK have been badly let down by the Conservatives.

“Labour has a plan for development, together with a brand new industrial technique, and the UK’s life sciences sector is on the coronary heart of it.”

The Conservative Party has been contacted for comment.

Changes to planning laws have been seen as a way of boosting economic growth. The strength of the UK economy has been a central battleground in the election campaign, with growth having been subdued in recent years.

Mr Ricks said the UK was “nonetheless within the combine” as a potential destination for a manufacturing site.

He urged the next government to consider how it could become “world class” in attracting investment.

“It’s a contest,” he said. “You should make it simpler and sooner for firms to make that alternative.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson mentioned: “Years of Conservative mismanagement have undermined business confidence and led to countless missed opportunities for investment.”

They said: “We would develop an industrial strategy to foster a stable business environment with smart regulation to give firms the certainty they need, and overhaul the broken business rates system to boost our manufacturing industry.”