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Robert_Jenrick_MP.jpg?profile=RESIZE_400xAusterity left councils reliant on deals with developers, which spark concerns about transparency

The moment the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, took his place at a Tory fundraising dinner at London’s Savoy hotel alongside Richard Desmond – and watched a promotional video of a planned £1bn development on Desmond’s phone – was not the first time a wealthy developer had become close to a politician with the power to block or approve plans.

The planning system has historically cast developers and politicians in poacher and gamekeeper roles. But in recent years an increased focus on financial negotiations between public authorities and developers has made simple yes/no decisions into more complex transactions, sparking concerns the system lacks transparency and is vulnerable to corruption.

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The Guardian

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