The UK Government is pressing ahead with its controversial eco-towns scheme with the announcement today of the four proposals that have made it through to next stage of assessment.
The four successful candidates are Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire, St Austell (China Clay) in Cornwall, Rackheath in Norfolk and North West Bicester in Oxfordshire.
In the next stage of the scheme, developers will be able to bid for a share of £60 million to get demonstrator homes and other buildings on site and open to visitors.
Final consideration and decision on the planning applications for the four eco-towns will take place next year.
Housing Minister John Healey also said today that he is making available £5 million for a second wave of at least six proposals, which will be shortlisted in 2010.
Two schemes, Rossington near Doncaster and North-East Elsenham in Essex, are in the development stage and could come forward as part of this second wave.
The eco-town plans include use of smart meters, community heat sources, charging points for electric cars and zero-carbon schools, shops, restaurants and public buildings.
Despite the Government’s renewed commitment to achieving zero-carbon new homes by 2016, the homes in the proposed eco-towns will only have to meet at least level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
The Government also published details of how designers and developers can achieve zero-carbon standards.
“I recognise that the proposals can raise strong opinions, but climate change threatens us all and with our commitment to the eco-towns we are taking steps to meet this challenge,” Healey said.
“We are leading the way on the world stage with these developments – by radically rethinking how we design, plan and build our homes we can create zero carbon developments.”
For further information:
UK outlines plan for cutting emissions (16-Jul)
UK eco-town not financially viable, says independent report (27-Feb)
UK’s eco-towns set tough standards (6-Nov 2008)
UK eco-towns receive lukewarm support from public (30-Jun 2008)
UK housing minister announces first stage of eco-town challenge (7-Apr 2008)
16 July 2009