“Our planning policies are changing to attract development and to remove the uncertainty around planning applications.” It's hard to believe but that statement is made by H&F Council about its own quasi-judicial planning process and implies that everything will somehow be fixed to assure property speculators that their applications will go through smoothly. You can view all this for yourself at 2 minutes and 13 seconds into their promotional video below:
H&F's Conservative Administration published the video in 2007. It sheds light on a bewildering series of planning permissions that have outraged residents and will contribute to blighting neighbourhoods across the borough.
Concerns were first raised when a senior Conservative councillor flew to Cannes on the French Riviera to begin secret talks with property speculators. H&F Council has consistently refused to provide minutes or agenda of those meetings and initially tried to tell the Opposition that there were no formal conversations. They did however explain that the trip was organised to talk to speculators about “contentious development sites”.
Over the last few years residents have seen planning applications granted by the Conservatives which have gone against all objective evidence. The Goldhawk Industrial Estate is fresh in the memory but other “contentious” schemes have been pushed through in Hammersmith Grove, Glenthorne Road and Larden and Percy Roads. Worst of all and as this video demonstrates, the Council is also quite far down the line in talks about knocking down thousands of people’s homes.