The “Planning for the Future” white paper has been condemned by Labour for putting affordable housing under threat
Labour has accused Boris Johnson of creating a “developers’ charter” after property tycoons donated £11million to the Tory party.
Figures from the Open Democracy project show billionaire Nick Candy is just one of the developers to put cash into the Tory coffers since Mr Johnson became PM last July, donating £100,000 in the first quarter of 2020.
Sir Stewart Lipton, a developer who also sits on the Government’s planning Taskforce, gave the same amount.
On Wednesday, the “Planning for the Future” white paper was published, which proposes designating land in England as for growth, renewal or protection.
It has been condemned by Labour for putting affordable housing under threat.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: This is a developers’ charter, frankly taking councils and communities out of it.
“On affordable housing, the critical issue, it says nothing. In fact it removes the initiatives that were there for affordable housing.”
Kate Henderson, of the National Housing Federation, said the Government was proposing to “scrap” Section 106 agreements, which require private developers to build a certain number of social homes.
She said: Any alternative to section 106 must ensure we can deliver more high-quality affordable homes to meet the huge demand across the country.
The Royal Institute of British Architects said the reforms could create “the next generation of slum housing”.
On a visit to a housing development in Warrington, Cheshire, PM Boris Johnson defended the reforms.
He said: What we’re doing is simplifying the process so you actually get much more affordable housing. It would give developers “a much simpler infrastructure levy that enables them to go ahead and build a much bigger chunk of affordable housing”.
Housing minister Robert Jenrick, who last month faced calls to resign over his dealings with developer Richard Desmond, also defended the proposals.
He said it was “complete nonsense” to suggest they would result in low-quality homes, and insisted local people would have “a meaningful contribution” in the planning process.
Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning Mike Amesbury said: The Conservative Party under Boris Johnson has been bankrolled by property developers. Now we see the result of that cosy relationship in this disastrous new developers’ charter.
Tony Gallagher, who hosted former PM David Cameron’s 50th birthday party, donated almost £750,000. Bridgemere UK, a developer chaired by Steve Morgan gave £2m.
The Healey brothers, Malcolm and Eddie, donated £1.1m, John Bloor, from Bloor Homes, £962,000, and West Ham United owner David Sullivan gave £75,000 from his property firm.
Mr Amesbury said: It’s no surprise the Tories have come up with a system that will benefit their donor mates at the expense of communities. It’s time for this Government to stop blaming the planning system and build affordable, good-quality housing.
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