Tory town halls less likely to allow new homes

Conservative councils are less likely to grant planning permission for new homes than other local authorities, according to research by McGrigors, the commercial law firm.

The gap is not large – 63 per cent of applications were approved by Tory-controlled councils compared with 69 per cent in authorities under Labour, Liberal or no overall control.

But given that the Conservatives control half of all councils with planning permission powers and are likely to make further gains in elections in May, the outlook could well be an even more severe housing shortage in the long-term, the law firm said.

On top of that, Conservative control is most heavily concentrated in the south-east where housing shortages are most acute.

Six of the 10 local planning authorities with the lowest approval rates, all below 45 per cent, were run by the Conservatives. They were Castle Point, Wycombe, Chiltern, Wokingham and Reigate and Banstead in the south east, and the Forest of Dean.