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Good gamble

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An amusing conceit doing the rounds in property and planning circles is the idea of putting in planning applications for huge US-style casinos close to the homes of the genius politicians about to stuff these unloved structures down our throats. Favourite idea so far is to propose one for Connaught Square, where Tony Blair will be spending more time with his family in the not-too-distant future. The idea is to submit two planning applications to Westminster, one above and one below ground. The council can be guaranteed to turn them down, which will mean an appeal.

Any refusal on appeal will be challenged in the courts on the grounds that the secretary of state should not be ruling on an application which will affect the personal interested of his boss! I asked Marco Goldschmied if he knows anything of this plan, and a proposed whip-round to get an application off the ground. He smiled enigmatically.

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