Ecotowns Report

Mark mark at
Thu Jun 26 12:36:43 BST 2008

Re: the Report critical of eco-town plans
Nick Rosen wrote: "The members on this committee are unlikely to complain
very hard - they were chosen to be a nice compliant bunch."

The 15-member ecotowns challenge panel, which has been conceived to be
independent from government, include Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway
and  tv presenters Kris Murrin and Joanna Yarrow. Other notable members
include Sue Riddlestone - Director of the BioRegional Development Group,
and Sir Peter Hall - President, Town and Country Planning Association.

Joanna Yarrow is the founder of the sustainability consultancy 'Beyond
Green', who acted as "sustainability advisors" to a proposal by
'Ropemakers Properties Ltd' (a subsidiary of the BP Pension Fund) for the
controversial outer suburb development of Harlow North, a proposed
development of 25,000 houses on greenbelt land.

The real pressure for this development has apparantly long been conceived
as a necessary residential area for the projected growth of local
employment in the area as a result of anticipated expansion of Stansted

The ecotowns report has been criticised for falling short on zero-carbon,
car-curbing and local employment aims.


--- In diggers350 at, "Mark" <mark at ...> wrote:
> Report critical of eco-town plans
> ---------------------------------
> Michael Donnelly, PlanningResource, 23 June 2008
> Ref:
> An official report into the government's proposed eco-town developments
> has raised serious doubts about the viability of current proposals.
> According to weekend media reports, the government's `challenge group',
> says that out of the 15 shortlisted sites, less than ten should be given
> the go-ahead and of those, only a handful would have proper green
> credentials.
> It says that most proposals should be sent back to developers for
> reconsideration.
> But today housing minister Caroline Flint said the proposals are
still in
> development: "I have been clear from the start that only those bids that
> reach the highest possible standards for sustainability can make it
> through.
> "The Eco-town Challenge panel have played an important role in both
> providing advice and encouragement to developers on what they have done
> well, but also challenging them to up their game where there is room for
> improvement. I'd like to thank the Panel for all their hard work.
> "This process was meant to be a challenging ride for the developers, and
> they need to be open to the creativity of these ideas. Some clearly need
> to up their game and the ball is now in their court."
> John Walker, chairman of the Eco-towns Challenge Panel, said: "Our brief
> was to challenge each proposal in a robust and constructive way, and I
> think we have done a good job on that front. We have seen much to
> but in all cases we are challenging the developers to take major steps
> forward.
> "We want the final eco-towns to be better than the best of the current
> examples that do exist in the UK and the rest of Europe - clearly
there is
> still a lot of work to do."
> Developers now have the opportunity to consider how they plan to respond
> to these challenges before meeting with the Panel again next month to
> discuss their work in progress.
> The challenge group includes experts on design, the environment,
> house building and transport.

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