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Returning to the planning story, the housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said he wishes he had not set next to Tory party donor and developer Richard Desmond at an event.
Asked why people should trust him over new planning proposals which will give more power to large developers after the controversy over the Westferry development project, Jenrick told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
I don’t think this does give more power to developers, it creates a much more certain system. It will, for example, fix the challenge of developer contributions once and for all.
I’ve set out the events around that decision and there are definitely lessons to be learnt. I wish I hadn’t been sat next to a developer at an event and I regret sharing text messages with him afterwards.
But I don’t regret the decision, because I think it was right to get housing built on a brownfield site on a part of London that desperately needs it.
Preston could be the next area to face government intervention after a rise in coronavirus rates, the city council’s chief executive said.
The authority has advised residents in the Lancashire city to avoid having visitors to their homes, although there are no official restrictions such as the laws brought in for other parts of the county, as well as Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire. Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, Adrian Phillips said:
We are not waiting for some government announcement. We know our rates are increasing and they have increased over the last week to a level now where we are concerned that we could face government intervention. We’ve been working with our communities to make sure we get those key messages out.
The city is surrounded by areas that have had enforced measures implemented by Government and we want to act now to stop that from happening (in) Preston.
We are aware we have got community transmissions, we are aware they are across the city. There is a concentration in inner areas as there usually is in any urban environment. But it’s in villages, it’s in our suburbs. Covid has not gone away and it is us all taking that message on board and making sure that we don’t relax our guard too much, that we maintain those key issues.