Councils 'being offered bribes to build on green belt'

A claim that councils are being offered 'bribes' worth hundreds of millions of pounds to build homes in the green belt features in today's newspaper round-up.

Countryside campaign group the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said that the government "has promised to pay councils a new homes bonus, typically worth £9,000, for each home they build - including in England’s 14 green belts, the protected land around cities where development is meant to be strictly limited", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that "East Hertfordshire District Council is due to receive up to £128 million over 20 years for almost 16,000 homes on green belt land", CPRE said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan will not intervene over plans for two new skyscrapers in the City of London, the Evening Standard reports. The towers, 22 Bishopsgate and 1 Undershaft, have already been approved by the City of London Corporation.

The company behind the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project "has been accused of using Orwellian propaganda tactics after it awarded a £280,000 contract to promote the high-speed rail project to children at primary schools on the proposed route", the Guardian reports. The newspaper says that HS2 Ltd "has contracted London-based Hopscotch Consulting to develop an education programme aimed at young children. Primary schools near the route have received an email from Hopscotch inviting them to ‘come aboard Zoom Rail, HS2’s Primary School Engagement Programme’".

The company "seeking to build one of Europe’s biggest goldmines in Northern Ireland has claimed that it has among the highest grades of any untapped gold in the world", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that Dalradian Resources has been "courting the local population to win support for a planning application that will be submitted next year".

A study has shown that wind power "plays a key role in curbing greenhouse emissions from other energy sources such as coal and gas", the Guardian reports. The newspaper says that Edinburgh University researchers found that "energy from windfarms in the UK prevented almost 36 million tonnes of harmful carbon emissions in six years, equivalent to taking 2.3 million cars off the road".

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