Nine sites for controversial new eco-towns announced
By Neil Merrick
3 December 2009
Potential sites for a second wave of eco-towns were announced this week, with local authorities receiving £10m to design the low-carbon developments.
Nine authorities or groups of councils are involved in the latest bids, including some whose plans were rejected when the first four eco-towns were announced in July.
Existing schemes at Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, and Shoreham Harbour, West Sussex, are to be updated in line with tougher planning standards, also published in July. New sites are being considered in Coventry, Leeds City Region, Lincoln, Taunton and Yeovil, while councils in Cornwall and the Sheffield region will use the eco-town concept for broader developments. The bids involve a total of 14 locations, with up to four sites put forward in some areas.
Originally, the government said it would give £5m to councils that expressed interest in further eco-towns. Speaking at the Town and Country Planning Association on December 1, housing and planning minister John Healey said the additional £5m would be used for demonstrator projects.
Healey also announced plans for an eco-town network for councils to share ideas. Labour’s plan for ten eco-towns by 2020 have been dogged by controversy, with residents opposing most sites.
Each town must include at least 5,000 homes, zero-carbon schools and green transport.