END OF “MIDDLE QUINTON” NIGHTMARE COMES CLOSER, BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET
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END OF “MIDDLE QUINTON” NIGHTMARE COMES CLOSER, BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET

The Government’s decision today (Thursday) to scale down the ‘eco-town’ project by building just four of the ten towns previously proposed has been welcomed by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff as a step in the right direction. However, he also warned that, despite initial appearances, this does not mean plans for an ‘eco-town’ at Long Marston have yet been scrapped.

The Government has today given the go-ahead to building ‘eco-towns’ at four sites where they have strong support from their local authorities. But they are still seeking public views on “Middle Quinton”.

Using the same criteria it should have been safe to assume that the Government would abandon plans to build an ‘eco-town’ at Long Marston, which is opposed by Wychavon and Stratford-upon-Avon District Councils, the two local authorities responsible for the site, and neighbouring Cotswold District Council, as well as all the local parish councils.

However, the Government have linked the Long Marston ‘eco-town’ proposal in with the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy revision (RSS) – effectively allowing the RSS to determine if the ‘eco-town’ should be imposed on the area, regardless of public opinion. The RSS has recently completed its Examination in Public and the conclusions will be announced in the autumn.

Commenting Peter said:

“This news is a big step in the right direction – and should be welcomed. On the face of it, it should also sound the death knell for the planned ‘eco-town’ at Long Marston, which, unlike the sites chosen today, is incredibly unpopular locally.

“However, by linking the construction of the Long Marston ‘eco-town’ in with the RSS there is the real possibility that the town could yet be imposed on the area by the Government despite strong local opposition.

“Building on such a large scale on this site remains a wrong-headed approach. It would have a disastrous impact on the local community and do nothing to meet real housing need. The Government can now put the whole sorry idea out of its misery by withdrawing their request to include the ‘eco-town’ in the provision of houses required by the revised West Midland Regional Spatial Strategy.

“Until they do so we are not out of the woods. That’s why I have today tabled a parliamentary question urging the government to make its intentions clear and remove the wretched “Middle Quinton” new town from the planning process.”


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