Top Tory minister 'must resign' after planning laws broken on constituency home

Posted On: 
22nd October 2017

A senior Conservative minister has faced calls to resign after it emerged a planning application for new stables at her constituency home broke the law.

Caroline Noakes on a cycle ride with former PM David Cameron in 2007
Credit: 
PA Images

Cabinet Office Minister Caroline Noakes has previously criticised property developers for manipulating planning laws.

But a bid to revamp her £1m family house on the edge of the picturesque New Forest was submitted in the name of her sister, who was identified as the owner.

However, Land Registry documents show Romsey and Southampton North MP Ms Noakes is the sole owner of the property, according to the Sunday Times.

The application was waved through – but submitting a false certificate of ownership in a planning application is a potential offence carrying a fine of up to £5,000.

Labour MP John Mann told the paper: “If she is not identified as the owner on a planning application for her property, she will obviously have to resign as a minister.

“Anyone can put in a planning application but you can’t mislead, particularly as an MP.”

Local councillor Don Jerrard said the planning application would have been “more likely to have been referred to the local planning committee” if it was clear Ms Noakes was the owner.

But the New Forest National Park authority told the paper it would “not be in the public interest to spend money on a prosecution and we consider the matter closed”.