Today saw more assaults being sent the way of the National Trust, as well as revelations that Cameron’s aide is in secret talks with property developers. Elsewhere, Pickles retreated back to home territory, expressing his views on planning reforms through a building conference.
Just when David Cameron hoped that his emollient letter to the director-general of the National Trust, Dame Fiona Reynolds, would calm the row over the Government’s controversial proposed planning reforms, a prominent Conservative has raised the temperature. David Heathcoat-Amory, the former shadow minister, has accused the charity of becoming involved in “a sort of jihad”.
Property developers were told by one of David Cameron’s closest advisers that controversial planning reforms would “trigger more development” in a secret meeting held before the plans were published. The news will put further pressure on ministers to explain how the draft National Planning Policy Framework was altered so much that one of its original authors disowned it and said they no longer placed a high value on the Government.
Eric Pickles has sought to defend the Government’s planning reforms at a building conference organised by UBM. Pickles used the stage to condemn the campaign against the planning reforms. He claimed that we had not done our homework; that we’ve “got hot and bothered without reading the consultation documents”.