COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT News Release (195) issued by The Government News Network
on 24 July 2008
Caroline Flint today set out the Government's latest
proposals for the UK's toughest ever green standards for new
housing as she unveiled a progress report on eco-towns.
Underlining the Government's determination that only the
best quality schemes with very high sustainability standards
should qualify for eco-town status, the standards being developed
are set to include:
* Achieving zero carbon status across all the town's
buildings, including commercial and public buildings as well as
homes - a significantly tougher threshold than any existing or
* Allocating 40 per cent of land within the town to be green
space, at least half of which should be open to the public as
parks or recreation areas
* Providing a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing to
provide more homes for social rent and assist those struggling to
get on the housing ladder
* Creating more options for travel and reducing residents'
reliance on the car to enable the majority of journeys to be made
by sustainable transport, such as public transport, walking and cycling
* Ensuring a minimum of one job per house can be reached by
sustainable transport to reduce dependence on the car
* Locating the average home within 10 minutes walk of frequent
public transport and everyday neighbourhood services
* Raising the threshold for individual homes so that they must
all achieve at least level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes,
which includes standards for household waste recycling,
construction waste, water efficiency measures and reduced pollution
Housing Minister Caroline Flint said:
"These would be the toughest standards ever set out for new
development and demonstrate that there will be no compromise on
quality with eco-towns.
"We need to build more homes in this country, but given that
housing contributes 27 per cent of our carbon emissions we must
also take this opportunity to trial new ways of tackling climate
change. In both cases, doing nothing is not an option."
Today's progress report also clarifies how the planning
process for eco-towns will work, making it clear that in each case
a planning application will have to be submitted and that it will
be for the local authority to consider that application. The
eco-towns standards will also insist that proposed developments
must comply with existing planning policy.
Following changes made to the shortlisted schemes announced in
April, including two new proposals for an eco-town in Rushcliffe
and major changes made to the proposal at Rossington, a formal
consultation on both these draft standards and a detailed
sustainability appraisal of each location will now be published in
September. A final decision on up to ten potential locations will
be made in early 2009, after which the individual schemes will
each have to submit planning applications.
Caroline Flint added:
"With a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing, eco-towns
will provide homes for a generation who are currently facing
difficulties - young families, singles and the elderly, who all
deserve a good quality home. The UK needs more homes because
people are living longer and more people are choosing to live alone."
"Eco-towns will meet part of our housing need by creating
attractive, new communities with all the facilities that people
look for when choosing a place to live."
Notes to editors
1. Eco-towns - Living A Greener Future: Progress Report is
available at http://www.communities.gov.uk/ecotowns
2. The thirteen shortlisted locations for eco-towns are:
Pennbury, Leicestershire; Middle Quinton, Warwickshire;
Bordon-Whitehill, Hampshire; Weston Otmoor, Oxfordshire; Ford,
West Sussex; St Austell China Clay Community, Cornwall;
Rossington, South Yorkshire; Hanley Grange, Cambridgeshire;
Marston Vale, Bedfordshire; North East Elsenham, Essex; Greater
Norwich; Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire; and Leeds City Region, Yorkshire.
A summary of each location is provided in the progress report.
3. The promoters for two locations originally shortlisted in
April have subsequently pulled out: Manby in Lincolnshire and
Curborough in Staffordshire. In addition, the New Marston proposal
in Bedfordshire has also been withdrawn, but the rival Marston
Vale proposal remains on the shortlist
4. The consultation on the principle of an eco-town in each of
the proposed locations closed in June. A second consultation will
follow on the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Planning Policy
Statement (which will include a proposed set of standards) when
they are published in September, alongside a programme of roadshows.
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