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Monday, June 14, 2021

Political coincidences part two

The Mirror reports that a billionaire property tycoon gave £150,000 to the Conservative Party, 48 hours after the government approved a housing scheme by his firm:

John Bloor, 77, a director of Bloor Homes who has a £1.3billion personal fortune, is one of the Conservative Party’s largest donors.

On March 15, ministers formally gave the green light to a Bloor Homes proposal to build hundreds of homes on rural land in Ledbury, Herefordshire.

Two days later on March 17, Electoral Commission records show, Mr Bloor's firm Bloor Holdings gave a donation of £150,000 to the Conservative Party.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not say if Mr Bloor lobbied ministers ahead of these decisions, the Sunday Times reported.

Bloor Homes, which announced profits of £152 million last year, has been approached for comment.

A government spokeswoman said: “The decision on the Ledbury development was made following a recommendation by the independent Planning Inspector to grant planning permission and in line with published propriety guidance."

Local councillors had rejected the 625-home plans, saying they would undermine a nearby area of outstanding natural beauty.

But in March 2020 the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government took control of the planning application following an appeal by Bloor Homes.

An independent planning inspector found in favour of Bloor Homes, and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government then agreed and gave final approval.

A decision notice published by the government on March 15 said: "The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions and agrees with her recommendation.

“He has decided to allow the appeal and grant planning permission."

Coincidences like these are coming thick and fast.
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