Bias claims over Shapps constituency 'Portas pilot'

Reports that there have been claims of bias in a decision to award a town in former housing minister and Tory Party co-chairman Grant Shapps' constituency 'Portas pilot' status feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian claims that a Tory councillor from Hatfield, within Shapps' Welwyn Hatfield constituency, "was the only person to have a face-to-face meeting with senior civil servants over securing a high-street regeneration grant from the Portas pilot scheme." The paper says Hatfield "was one of only 15 ‘town teams’, from nearly 400 bidders, to secure a £100,000 grant from the government initiative marshalled by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)." The department has denied any wrongdoing.

Chancellor George Osborne "is the driving force behind an apparent policy shift against onshore wind farms", the Telegraph reports. According to the newspaper, the chancellor’s father-in-law Lord Howell of Guildford was secretly videoed by green campaigners suggesting that Osborne was behind the about-turn.

A piece by the Independent’s environment editor Michael McCarthy says "there has never been a hint that, not ever, the (Prime Minister) David Cameron is anything but full committed to action on global warming". But he adds that it seems "very likely" that Osborne is "actively manoeuvring within government to undermine one of his boss’s most important policies".

Heathrow airport "intensified its campaign for new runways" yesterday with the publication of a report which suggested that Britain "will lose out on £14 billion this year because of the capacity constrained airport cannot support more aviation links to emerging markets", the Financial Times (subscription) reports. The newspaper says that Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow Airport Holdings, "seized on the findings" to argue that the on-going government review into airports capacity "should consider increasing the number of runways at his facility from two to four".

The Times (subscription) reports
that property developer St Modwen, the owners of the rundown Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south London, has appointed property advisor Colliers International to "find an investor to back what it sees as one of London’s key urban regeneration projects". According to the newspaper, St Modwen plans to refurbish and extend the centre and wants to submit a planning application by next year.

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