Eco town comment 2008 Edit
- Government should go back to the drawing board, CPRE, June 30 
CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, are calling on the Government to rethink its eco-town programme and focus on one or two truly exemplary schemes.
- due to their location most eco-towns shortlisted are unlikely to work in transport terms and risk being car dependent housing estates with residents stranded in the face of continued fuel price rises
- most of the sites are predominantly greenfield and include farmland of the highest agricultural quality; two sites actually lie in the Green Belt - Rossington and Weston-on-Green. Baroness Andrews told the House of Lords on 2 June that ‘We will not build on the Green Belt.’
- three eco-towns are proposed for the East of England where water supply and sewerage have already reached maximum capacity
- most of the proposed eco-towns go against local plans agreed with communities and therefore have no local democratic mandate
- site-selection is based on arbitrary, mainly developer-led, bids rather than sound planning in the wider public interest
- communities are being asked their views on schemes about which little firm information is available, apart from the location
- there is a worrying lack of evidence to demonstrate that schemes will offer truly sustainable models of living and working
- the Government’s insistence that eco-towns should be freestanding makes no sense since most new housing will be in and around towns where infrastructure needs can be more easily met
"Many of these shortlisted schemes are recycled, failed proposals - locations where proposals have been put forward in the past include Curburough, Bordon, Rossington, Ford airfield, Marston Vale and Hanley Grange. The Government insists that eco-towns must be freestanding new settlements. But by refusing to look at alternatives, such as eco-quarters and redevelopment sites already coming through the planning pipeline it is missing a golden opportunity." Marina Pacheco, CPRE’s Head of Planning.