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Bromley councillor lodges conflict of interest complaint about Sadiq Khan

PUBLISHED: 16:54 12 February 2020

The designs submitted to Wandsworth Council in 2018 and (inset) London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Cllr Simon Fawthrop. Picture: LDRS

The designs submitted to Wandsworth Council in 2018 and (inset) London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Cllr Simon Fawthrop. Picture: LDRS

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A councillor who applied to build a block of flats in Sadiq Khan’s back yard has now accused the London Mayor of failing to declare a conflict of interest worth £1m.

The Mayor's Office had previously labelled Bromley Councillor Simon Fawthrop's 2018 application to build a flat and two maisonettes in Streatham "a political stunt".

However Cllr Fawthrop, the Conservative member for Petts Wood and Knoll, has now lodged a complaint over a perceived conflict of interest, saying proposed changes in the draft London 
Plan constitute a breach by the mayor.

Cllr Fawthrop alleged the mayor stands to "make a huge financial gain" if he chooses to build a development in his backyard.

"Under the proposed London Plan any property within 800m of a transport hub can dispense with parking and the Mayor also proposes to ditch the Government's environmental protection for Gardens in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)," Cllr Fawthrop wrote in his complaint.

"(Mr Khan) is able to financially exploit the loopholes he is creating in the Draft London Plan as he lives within 800m of both Streatham and Streatham Common Railway Stations."

Cllr Fawthrop said he calculated the £1m pricetag of such a development based on a Zoopla search for properties showing a two-bedroom flat in the area valued £450k, meaning three one-bedroom homes would cost around £1m.

In response, a spokesman for the Mayor of London said: "Rather than repeatedly staging pointless political stunts, Councillor Fawthrop should focus on encouraging Bromley Council to build the new genuinely 
affordable and social homes local residents and Londoners desperately need.

"Sadiq makes no apologies whatsoever for making this a top priority for his administration".

Cllr Fawthrop said in 2018 that his application for Mr Khan's back yard was an attempt to challenge the Mayor's London Plan, the planning blueprint which outlines future developments across the entire city.

The plan advocated building on small plots, including back yards, in a bid to address London's housing crisis.

"Before he starts allowing unrestricted building in my residents' back gardens he should start with his own back yard," Cllr Fawthrop said at the time.

A 2019 housing document by Bromley Council states it supports the building of more than 10,645 new homes in the borough as identified in the Local Plan by 2030.

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