The leader of Greenwich’s opposition party has slammed a council decision to accept a payment worth almost £30,000 in return for providing a planning brief to a local landowner as “highly questionable”.

Leader of the Greenwich Conservatives, Cllr Nigel Fletcher, made the comments  on Monday after it was revealed the authority accepted the payment regarding the former site of the historic gas-holder on the Greenwich Peninsula.

“This is an astonishing disclosure. We already know Greenwich Council dismally failed to prevent the destruction of the iconic Gasholder, despite their election promises,” Cllr Fletcher said.

“Now it seems they were paid thousands of pounds from the company that stood to gain most from the demolition. The whole thing is highly questionable, to say the least.

“Local people need assurances that our planning policies are not for sale.”

It comes after a Freedom Of Information request by The Guardian revealed Greenwich Peninsula landowner Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) paid the council almost £30,000 for a planning brief for the gas-holder site.

Planning briefs are made to provide guidance to developers and outline the various policies that would-be builders are expected to abide by.

The brief concluded the area could accommodate high-rise buildings including as many as 1,200 homes, offices, a hotel, shops and restaurants.

Dan Brown, a spokesman for SGN, told The Guardian: “We had no role in producing the planning brief and the brief does not necessarily reflect the most favourable possible outcome for us”.

According to the newspaper, Greenwich Council cited “a decade of government cuts” as a reason for needing to accept the funds, but said the landowner had no unfair influence over the planning brief.

The gas-holder was removed in April this year.

Greenwich Council has been contacted by the local democracy reporting service for an updated comment.