Saturday 10 September 2011

Telegraph hammers Tories on property developers

The Telegraph really goes for the Conservatives "planning reforms" today with an exclusive claiming that the Tories have been given millions by property developers.

The story by Heidi Blake states: "Dozens of property firms have given a total of £3.3 million to the party over the past three years, including large gifts from companies seeking to develop rural land.

"Developers are also paying thousands of pounds for access to senior Tories through the Conservative Property Forum, a club of elite donors which sets up “breakfast meetings” to discuss planning and property issues.

"The disclosures are likely to provoke a new “cash-for-access” row and will give rise to fears that planning policies could have been influenced by powerful figures from the property industry.

"The Coalition will also face a backlash next week from more than 80 rural MPs and peers, who will meet to discuss concerns that relaxing planning policy will see hundreds of wind turbines built in the countryside."

The Daily Telegraph has launched the Hands Off Our Land campaign to urge ministers to rethink the measures, joining opposition from the National Trust, English Heritage and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The guidance states that there should be a “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, which campaigners have warned would give developers “carte blanche”.

  • Whatever happened to the "Tory press" and the "Torygraph"?

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