Eco towns heavily criticised

Eco town plans have been heavily criticised after the Government revealed yesterday the 15 sites on the eco towns shortlist.

Eco towns, consisting of between 5,00 and 20,000 homes, will all be zero carbon emission, and are only to be built on reclaimed or Brownfield sites. Of the shortlist of 15, 10 will be built, with the first five being completed by 2016.

Protests have already occured against the proposal to build 6,000 homes at The Middle Quinton site, which is on a former Royal Engineers depot, south west of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Izzi Seccombe, a Warwickshire county councillor, said: ‘Building 6,000 new homes at Long Marston [pictured] is utterly inappropriate. It would put unsustainable pressure on Stratford’s transport infrastructure and local services.’

Caroline Flint, Housing Minister, said: ‘We have a major shortfall of housing and with so many buyers struggling to find suitable homes, more affordable housing is a huge priority.

‘To face up to the threat of climate change, we must also cut the carbon emissions from our housing. Eco-towns will help solve both of these challenges.’

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said it was ‘disappointed’ with the shortlist – with one or two exceptions.

Kate Gordon, CPRE planning officer, said: ‘There are a number of locations that involve the loss of greenfield land and a loss of agricultural land.’

Tim Henman’s father, Anthony, has protested against the ‘horrendous’ potential eco town at Weston Otmoor in Oxfordshire, which would consist of 15,000 homes.

The Town and Country Planning Association, however, welcomed the eco town proposals.

Gideon Amos, its chief executive, said: ‘With a potential to deliver around 200,000 new homes, eco towns are an essential part of the solution to the problem of delivering affordable homes at the highest environmental standards to families and households crying out for decent homes.’

Eco town plans have, however, been heavily criticised after the Government revealed the 15 sites on the shortlist yesterday.

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