Conservative councils across the country are being encouraged by their parliamentary colleagues to delay major planning applications until after the next General Election.
The letter from Caroline Spelman instructs Conservative councils to continue with any legal obligations they may have, but to not push through any major schemes with undue haste. The argument for this being that the Conservatives propose abolition or part-abolition of regional spatial strategies if they win the next General Election. Caroline Spelman has also indicated that a Conservative Government would allow councils to review their Local Development Frameworks to remove any policies that were there due to regional strategies.
These delaying tactics are most likely to affect major commercial developments, as well as housing schemes. Whilst this may be welcomed by Liberal Democrats in some areas, it has also been criticised by those who see an urgent need to build new housing developments.