Eco Town Rubbished By Government's Own Advisors
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Plans to build an "eco-town" `at Long Marston have been heavily criticised by a panel of experts which was drawn together by the Government to assess its merits.

Having studied the proposal for 6,000 homes to be built at the former air base on the Worcestershire-Warwickshire border, the panel blasted the idea for its poor choice of location, and the inadequacy of the local infrastructure to support it.

The panel found worrying challenges with the proposed site such as "the proximity of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, contaminated land and the risk of flooding".

The panel also expressed concerns that a transport plan had not been thought through properly:

"Transport is a challenging issue for the site. There is high car dependency in this rural location and there are concerns around the capacity of the road network. The infrastructure will need to be present from day one in order to deliver a step change in travel behaviour"

Mid Worcestershire MP, Peter Luff, who has been campaigning against the eco-town proposal, welcomed the panel's analysis of the site:

"This document tells us nothing that we didn't know before - that the Long Marston site is wholly inadequate for a development such as this, and will be bad for the environment, bad for the surrounding communities and ultimately bad for people who would end up living there. Yes they say some good things about the concept - but the implementation is a very different matter.

"The fact that the panel was put together by the Government - who are aggressively determined to build "up to ten eco-towns" - and still found massive faults with the proposals is evidence that the whole project is flawed.

"What makes it even worse is that the panel's brief assessment of the site only looked at its relationship with nearby Stratford. Had they studied the effects on equally-near Evesham, or the wider area, their criticisms would have been even more scathing.

"The Government have been resolutely blocking their ears to the protests of all people, local politicians and environmentalists. We can only hope they will listen to their own advisors' dire warnings."

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