YET ANOTHER BLOW FOR “ECO-TOWNS”
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YET ANOTHER BLOW FOR “ECO-TOWNS”

“The ‘eco-town’ project is dead in the water. The Government must stop trying to resuscitate it and let it go”. That’s the view of Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who has been fighting plans to build an ‘eco-town’ at Long Marston, which lies partly in his constituency.
Peter’s comments come in response to a report published by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee which pours scorn on the ‘eco town project’. In their report, the Committee conclude:

“The eco-town policy is clearly in some difficulty…This policy appears to be one of the victims of the Department’s weaknesses in engaging and enthusing its delivery partners.”

The report continues:

“Putting this policy back on track to deliver the Prime Minister’s early claims for it will be a difficult task and a severe test of the Department’s progress in a crucial aspect of improving its performance.”

The publication of the Select Committee report coincides with answers from the Housing Minster Margaret Beckett MP to questions asked by Peter and Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP which reveal that as many as nine officials within the Department for Communities and Local Government are working to implement the failing policy, and that so far – before any building has begun, or any sites chosen – the cost of trying to implement the scheme has spiralled to over £3,000,000.

Commenting Peter said:

“The ‘eco-town’ project has been sinking fast. We have already seen four independent reports published recently which highlight the unsuitability of the Long Marston site for development on this scale, and reveal a £300 million funding gap in the developers’ plans.

“But with this damning report from a committee made up of MPs from all sides of the House ‘eco-towns’ must surely now be dead in the water.

“Sadly, the longer the Government flails about trying to rescue this doomed policy, the more they seem concerned with saving face, rather than making sure we get environmentally friendly homes built in the places where they are actually needed.”

ENDS

Notes:

The Communities and Local Government Committee report can be viewed here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/238/9780215526601.pdf


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