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Friday, April 04, 2008


The government wants to build the first new towns in England in 40 years and yesterday it announced the 15 possible locations. It was to build 10 of what it calls ECO Towns.

The locations are:
  • Bordon, Hampshire
  • Coltishall, Norfolk
  • Curborough, Staffordshire
  • Elsenham, Essex
  • Ford, West Sussex
  • Hanley Grange, Cambridgeshire
  • Imerys, nr St Austell, Cornwall
  • Leeds city region, West Yorkshire
  • Manby, Lincolnshire
  • Marston Vale and New Marston, Bedfordshire
  • Middle Quinton, Warwickshire
  • Pennbury, Leicestershire
  • Rossington, South Yorkshire
  • Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire
  • Weston Otmoor, Oxfordshire

The name that first jumped out at me was Coltishall in West Norfolk as I stayed there a few years ago. It struck me as a prettyish place and I can't see the locals being best pleased. On closer inspection the name that surprised me was Elsenham in Essex.

Now Elsenham is reasonably close to me and even closer to Bishops Stortford and to....Stansted Airport. I suppose my little corner of the world is forever destined to be a building site.

What is an eco-town? Well they should be environmentally-friendly, low-energy, carbon-neutral and built from recycled materials.

Supposedly the largest will provide between 15,000 and 20,000 new homes, with officials saying the towns should be "zero-carbon" developments and should be exemplary in one area of sustainability, such as energy production or waste disposal.

Apparently officials want 30% to 40% of each eco-town to be allocated as affordable housing.

The 10 sites for the eco-towns will be finalised in the next six months.

Ministers wants five of them built by 2016, with the other half completed by 2020.

The plans have proved controversial in some areas with campaigners saying the idea is a way to evade planning controls.

I am sceptical on such matters and as I get older and more curmudgeonly I wonder if we need to look at our ever growing population. Britiain is getting a little bit crowded.


Tricia said...

Ford (West Sussex) amazes me as a choice. Ford has a Prison, a disused airfield and a station. No other reasonable public transport and not much else either. Strange choice!

Anonymous said...

I understand your concern about the towns but from what I've read the British are masters at mitigating urban sprawl. Wish they had planned all of our communities, we'd have fewer malls and other disconnected features with miles and miles of roads to nowhere.

st said...

more bull, the carbon tally so far will be high and they haven't started building yet.
Just how are these materials being transported and how far will they travel.
in word anything with ECO in it.
economy--looking glum.