Thursday, 19 June 2008

MPs pour scorn over eco-town plans

Political Editor Phil Hornby blogs from Parliament

MPs queued up today to pour scorn on the Government's plans for so-called 'eco-towns'.

The idea is to build sustainable new communities, which will help to solve the housing shortage - in an environmentally-friendly way.

Trouble is, no-one seems to want one built near them.

Ford in West Sussex is on the shortlist for possible locations. There's already an impressive local campaign to fight the plans, and the area's two MPs, Nick Gibb and Nick Herbert didn't pull any punches during today's Commons debate.

They argue that developments shouldn’t be imposed on communities by central Government. Whitehall, they say, doesn't know best.

But as eco-towns were one of Gordon Brown's few big new ideas when he became Prime Minister, they're unlikely to be scrapped.

We'll know which locations have been chosen in the autumn, so Ford will soon know its fate.

But the ten eco-towns around the country will amount to just 75,000 new homes.

And that's a drop in the ocean when you consider experts say, over the next few years, the number of new homes needed in the UK is three MILLION.

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