L&G WATCH

L&G Downing Street

We recently ran a story on our website about the relationship between L&G, who the Reverend Rees is gifting Arena island to, and the Tory government under Theresa May. Now we learn that the global pension player turned property developer continues to maintain strong links to the Tories under Johnson.

A Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, contains an account of a meeting between the Minister for Housing and Planning, Esther McVey, and L&G on 27 January 2020. Topics included the greenbelt. L&G got to tell the Tory minister, “the entire country was not for protecting the Green Belt as a blanket rule”.

They also got to express concern about “the planning capability of local authorities,” stating they would pay a premium to get planning applications fast tracked. Explaining, “when large scale developments are delayed by slow decision making, the financial cost of delay is greater than it would cost to contribute to planning upscaling”.

McVey agreed to “take this point onboard as she considers further work”. Meanwhile, “the Minister was eager to know what L&G thought government has to do to speed up the release of public land”!

On the plus side, at least Tory ministers take minutes. Unlike BCC who gave Arena Island away at a private unminuted meeting at L&G’s offices in London attended by Rees’s dodgy property supremo Colin “Headboy” Molton, now at WECA.

Closer to home, the council has just published a VEAP for their Arena Island deal. A document used to avoid legal action by acknowledging they may have acted unlawfully in terms of regulation.

Tells us all we need to know about Rees’s shit deal with L&G

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