• Police start to investigate “Browngate”

    24th May 2013 | News | Claire
  • Police have confirmed they are investigating a former East Devon councillor who resigned after being caught on camera boasting about his ability to secure planning permission.

    The move has prompted campaigners to hand officers a 20 to 30-page dossier on alleged planning “irregularities” gathered as part of an ongoing dispute over alleged undue influence between local developers and East Devon district council.

    Former Feniton and Buckerell councillor Graham Brown was suspended by the local Conservative party in March.

    He later gave up his seat after a sting operation saw him tell undercover reporters posing as investors: “If I can’t get planning, nobody will.”

    The local authority referred Brown to the country’s national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud, under the Bribery Act 2010.

    A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall police has now said it is “looking into the circumstances to ascertain whether any offences have been committed”.

    Mr Brown, who works as a professional planning consultant, vehemently denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to fight to clear his name.

    Members of campaign group The East Devon Alliance are compiling a report containing information which they think may be of use to the police.

    Sopkesman, Tony Green said: “We are not making any judgements but simply passing on any potential evidence we think may be of use.”