Author Topic: Changes To Planning Policy - Developers Pay For Access To Conservatives  (Read 6474 times)

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The Prophet

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New Planning policy - Property Forum: developers pay for access to Conservatives
It has been reported in the national newspapers that the Conservative Party has received donations of around £3.3million over the last three years from various property developers.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Property Forum, a Tory donor's club which raises around £150,000 a year for the Conservatives, is charging key figures within the industry £2,500 a year for breakfast meetings to "discuss current topics" with senior Conservatives.  The website states that the forum is "for key players within the property industry to meet senior Members of Parliament over breakfast, discuss current topics and learn about related issues".

The housing minister, Grant Shapps, met members three months before the general election to explain the Conservatives' Green Paper on planning before it was published.

By changing planning laws, the government has been accused of giving developers "state licence to print money" by making it easier to build on greenfield land. Critics say that the "presumption in favour of sustainable development", would amount to a "developers' charter" by effectively sidelining councils.

The Conservatives have denied that members of the Property Forum had a hand in shaping government policy. Their spokesman said:
"The Conservative Property Forum is a discussion forum for people with an interest in property. It in no way influences policy. Any relevant donations made by members of this forum are publicly declared to the Electoral Commission just like all other relevant donations."

The Government also claims the changes are vital to make housing more affordable and claims delays cost the economy £3bn a year.