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Tories 'approve fewer new homes'

Conservative planners are much less likely to approve housing developments than their political rivals, research suggests

A survey carried out by law firm McGrigors found that six of the 10 councils with the lowest consent rate in the country were in Conservative hands, while the average planning approval rating for these councils stood at 63 per cent – lower than the 69 per cent average found in authorities controlled by Labour or the Liberal Democrats.

The firm warned developers that the forthcoming elections may see the Tories increase their current 51 per cent share, which could make it even harder to secure planning approval in the future.

Partner Suzanne Gill said: ‘Developers should act as soon as possible because as the elections draw closer, councils will become increasingly reluctant to grant planning permission, especially for projects seen as contentious.

‘There is also the danger that after the elections the incoming government will be tougher with planning applications than the outgoing one.’

Postscript

Responding to research by McGrigors which claims that Conservative councils are less likely to grant planning permission for new homes, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Planning, Bob Neill, said: ‘This is spurious, back of a fag packet work. Planning officers and planning committees are not party political in a way that the setting of a council budget may be. The councils with the lower approval rates are disproportionately in the Green Belt, which is the influencing factor here.’

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