Council pension funds to 'invest £22bn in local building projects'

News that communities secretary Eric Pickles plans to enable council pension funds to invest £22 billion in local building projects features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscriber only) reports that communities secretary Eric Pickles will announce plans to allow council pension funds to double the amount they can invest in local building projects, a move that it says could result in £22 billion being invested in infrastructure. According to the newspaper, at the moment, local authority pension funds can invest a maximum of 15 per cent in limited partnerships – the asset vehicle used for significant property, private equity and infrastructure projects. It says that Pickles will float the idea of increasing the limit to 30 per cent. A consultation on the issue is expected to run until mid-December, according to the newspaper.

Experts have warned that new legislation aimed at boosting economic growth will make it easier for developers to put mobile phone masts near beauty spots, the Daily Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that Conservative and Labour MPs have raised concerns that measures in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill will make it easier for developers to put any "telecommunications equipment" in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Also in the Daily Telegraph, it is reported that Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain needs to generate more power from wind farms and other low carbon sources to provide for an increase in numbers of electric cars.

Onshore oil company Egdon Resources is joining with Europa Oil & Gas to challenge Surrey County Council’s decision to block the drilling of test wells near Dorking, according to the Financial Times (subscriber only). According to the newspaper, the council is backing an appeal in the High Court against a decision made by communities secretary Eric Pickles to uphold the council's drilling ban on a commuter belt site.

The Guardian reports that Prime Minister David Cameron will defend the green economy after a group of more than 20 Conservative MPs raised concerns about the issue in a letter to Downing Street.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Join the conversation with PlanningResource on social media

Follow Us:
Planning Jobs