HOUSING and other building developments should be delayed until the Conservatives win the next General Election, Enfield Council has been urged.

The direction, in a letter from shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman, has been sent to all Conservative-run councils, MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates.

In the letter, seen by the Enfield Independent, she confirms the party plans a major change of planning policy should the Tories win next year and advises Tory-run councils to drag their heels on approving developments over and above what is a “binding legal necessity”.

She warns that in power her party would “not pay a penny of compensation to speculative developers as consequence to changes in planning policy”.

The letter, sent last week, makes it clear that a Conservative Government would reform the “bureaucratic and undemocratic tier of regional planning”, including local development frameworks and regional spatial strategies, which include green belt reviews.

It goes on: “We would advise councils not to rush ahead with implementing the controversial elements of regional spatial strategies, expending time and taxpayers' money that may be wasted.”

But contrary to annoying voters desperate for planned regeneration to go ahead, Mrs Spelman said a delay could help local Conservatives in their electioneering, as delaying the development framework process would make “the democratic choice at the General Election more stark and clear for the electorate”.

However, the Home Builders Federation, speaking to specialist regeneration magazine Regeneration and Renewal yesterday, warned the policy would lead to “a hiatus in planning for housing that could only exacerbate the supply crisis we already face”.