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Paul Wilkinson
webmaster
Monday, October 13, 2008 11:54
LGA Report: Eco-towns will "become eco-slums of the future"
Found this press release on the the Local Government Association website (www.lga.gov.uk). It seems the Government isn't only dangling a carrot in front of CDC, it's force feeding it!

LGA media release - 26 June 2008

A new report by the Local Government Association warned today that Government plans to create eco-towns were "significantly flawed" and that the developments risked becoming "eco-slums" of the future without more input from councils.

It says that many councils are dismayed at the way local democracy and planning processes are being by-passed to impose the schemes on the public.

The report, "Eco-Towns, back to the future?", argues that the government has failed to learn lessons from the past by falling back on discredited "new town" powers to impose the initiative on the public.

Eco-towns will have unelected management bodies to help develop and manage them, effectively neutering the role of local government, it says.

And by pursuing an eco-town policy that enables the by-passing of decision-making by democratically elected councils, the government risks being both judge and jury.

This "flies in the face" of its stated intention to give local councils more control over the areas they represent.


Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the LGA, said:

"Councils are determined to fight their corner because they know only too well that by-passing the planning process will allow developments to be built in isolated areas without the essential facilities needed by people in their everyday lives.

"These schemes are set to include up to 50 per cent social housing, but could become eco-slums of the future if they are built without regard to where residents can get to jobs or training.

"And if they become dormitory towns with poor public transport connections, any carbon reduction achieved by the design of home and community facilities will be more than offset by people driving miles to buy a loaf of bread or take their children to school.

"Added to that, developers are concerned that the highest criteria for zero-carbon homes could add 30,000 to building costs. Caroline Flint has admitted that the new homes could be built at a much lower standard, little different to those set for all new development.

"Without local councils being involved in their development, the future looks bleak for eco-towns and for those who will have to live in them."

ENDS

The LGA promotes the interests of just under 500 local authorities in England and Wales. These represent over 50 million people.

jeff
Monday, October 13, 2008 21:30

sutton isnt a eco town?
Paul Wilkinson
webmaster
Monday, October 13, 2008 21:58
Hi Jeff, that's correct. But Eco-towns, Growth Areas and Growth Points are all part of the same Government initiative. The "unelected management body" in our case is Leeds City Region.

Jeff
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 16:09

why do you need a elected management body?
Peter Drake
Tuesday, October 14, 2008 22:13
Because we, the electorate, can sack'em Jeff.
Elly
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 06:56
I think the government definition of an eco town refers to carbon neutral housing, eg solar panels, water recycling, all sorts of other self sufficiency stuff. While this is a great idea in principle, it unfortunately doesn't take into account nice, carbon neutralising things that are already there like TREES AND GREEN SPACES AND NON-OVERCROWDED VILLAGES. Silly people.
Paul Wilkinson
webmaster
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 08:07
Jeff, please note that your email address as specified when posting has failed validation.

To answer your question - I can't speak for the Local Government Authority who authored the report, but personally I would much rather have planning decisions taken within the framework of a local democracy than dictated by a national quango.


jeff
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 14:32
im just using this email so i dont get spammed thats all!



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