Boles 'effectively a recruiting officer for UKIP'

Reports that the outgoing chair of heritage charity the National Trust has described former planning minister Nick Boles as 'effectively a recruiting officer for UKIP' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Times (subscription required) reports that Sir Simon Jenkins has said that Prime Minister David Cameron has "overseen the destruction of the countryside and reneged on his election promises to protect it". The newspaper quotes Jenkins saying former planning minister Nick Boles was "effectively a recruiting officer for UKIP" because of his changes to the planning system which have made it easier for developers to push through new homes in the countryside. The newspaper adds that Jenkins, who stepped down yesterday after six years in the role, has called for the introduction of a "landmark listing system to save Britain’s rural landscape". The newspaper says the new system "would resemble the one that protects important buildings and houses".

The Guardian reports that the "biggest and ugliest" electricity pylons "slicing through some of the UK’s most treasured beauty spots are set to be torn down". The newspaper says energy network operator National Grid "will investigate ways to remove pylons from a shortlist of eight rural areas by putting the high-voltage transmission lines underground".

The Times (subscription required) reports that MPs on the public administration select committee will warn today that "Britain’s network of more than 600 quangos and public bodies is a bloated ‘mess’ which cost taxpayers billions of pounds".

A leader in the Observer calls on London mayor Boris Johnson to do more to ensure the design quality of London’s new wave of skyscrapers. It says: "Towers can be a part of the growth of London and other cities, but their impact demands a much greater level of care than has so far been evident".

The Guardian reports that housebuilder Bovis has said it "expects to build 30 per cent more homes this year, putting it on track for ‘strong growth’ in profits". The newspaper says "the company, one of the country’s largest housebuilders, said it was on course to complete a record 3,650 homes by the end of the year".


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