An investigation by The Telegraph newspaper has revealed that a number of councillors are looking to hire themselves out to commercial property developers in order to help push through developments following the introduction of new planning laws. The changes in planning laws are an attempt to revive the construction industry and so councils are expecting that applications will increase. The rights that local residents have to object to the development of rural areas are expected to be relaxed and developers are expecting to find it easier to put through plans. There have been a number of consultancy companies that have councillors working with them who also work as part of the local authorities and can advise developers on how to get their plans through. While it is argued that this a conflict of interest it is not illegal for councillors to work as paid consultants and many so far look to make substantial fees. A number of the councillors have argued that they are not acting inappropriately and that if they had been involved with lobbying they would have fully declared this to their local authority. They also stated that “it is the council’s responsibility to mark this on the public record in their council’s register of interest.” The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with commercial property solicitors in Nottingham and across the country.