Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'Don't develop until we get in', say Tories

  • 1 Comment

The Conservative Party has told Tory councils and MPs to delay any ‘major’ developments until it comes into power, according to reports at the weekend

The Observer claims it has seen a leaked letter sent by shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman (pictured above) warning authorities not to press ahead with large commercial and housing schemes.

It is understood a new Conservative administration would want to bring in its own local government and housing bill – a move that would, in effect, tear up Labour’s regional development targets.

According to the newspaper, the letter goes on to say that the new legislation would ‘put the brakes on elements of regional spatial strategies that [local authorities] find undesirable’.

It is feared the proposals could lead to a planning hiatus and have been criticised by the Home Builders Federation for potentially ‘exacerbating the [housing] supply crisis we already face’.

Only last week, the RIBA’s new president Ruth Reed said she was concerned about the Tories ‘removing regional policy because of the need for joined-up thinking on housing, infrastructure and the regional economies’.

Meanwhile John Healey, the current housing minister, said: ‘The Tories are getting ahead of themselves… taking the election for granted [and] this seems deliberately designed to slam the brakes on building, yet they have no plausible policy to secure the investment and new homes the country needs.

‘Crude threats and uncertainty are the last thing builders need now as they battle to come out of recession.’

However, Grant Shapps, the Conservative shadow housing minister, defended the letter. Speaking to The Observer, Shapps argued that a large number of Labour’s regional development strategies had been challenged in the courts and were therefore delaying the building of new homes.

He went on to say that councils should not waste time fighting these ‘if they thought a Conservative victory at the next election was likely’.



  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Hopefully nobody's stupid enough to follow that advice.....how to prolong the agony!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.