21 November 2007

Conservatives hit planning problems

The Planning Applications Committee of Tory Hammersmith & Fulham Council this week considered an application from the South Fulham Constitutional Club (SFCC) to build four town houses on an underused part of its site. Similar houses in adjacent streets sell for up to £2 million each.

Last November the SFCC, which is similar to a Conservative Club, donated £4,999 to the local Conservative Association.

At the start of the meeting the vice-chair of the Committee declared a preducial interest and said he would leave the room for this item (he, the chair and five other members are Conservative, three are Labour Councillors).

The Labour members said all Conservative members should declare prejudicial interests and should also defer the item to the following meeting. The Conservative members (save the vice-chair) adjourned the Committee for a few minutes to discuss this. They returned to say they could proceed. The application was then approved. The five Conservative members voted for, the three Labour against.

This matter is being reported to the Standards Board for England.

PS: Last year – against officer advice – the Tory members of the same Committee gave consent for an extra flat in a property being converted by a former Tory council candidate. Last month the Tories gave retrospective consent (at almost 1am in the morning) to a developer who had built an extra 40 flats in at Imperial Wharf, a luxury riverside development, for which they did not have consent.

No comments: