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Porter: Planning rows fuelled Tory elections 'car crash'

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Controversy over planning and new development was a major factor in Conservative losses at the local elections, the party’s most senior councillor has said.

Writing for the Conservative Home website yesterday, Local Government Association chair Lord Porter said while “anger” over the Brexit parliamentary deadlock was the “biggest single source of voter discontent”, concern over new development was a “key reason for losses in a number of areas”.

Lord Porter said attracting younger voters frustrated about being unable to get on the housing ladder without alienating older voters concerned over development posed a “particular challenge” for the Conservative party.

He said: “Ironically, those who are the loudest at objecting to development in the immediate vicinity of their own homes are often the same people who are concerned that their children and grandchildren are still living in rented accommodation in their forties.

“Electorally, we cannot afford to alienate either of these groups, but getting local support for large-scale development is increasingly difficult.”

The Conservatives lost 1,335 seats at the elections earlier this month. Speaking to LGC in the days after the polls Lord Porter described the results as a “car crash” but said he would reserve judgement on the reasons behind it until they had been examined in more detail.

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