More eco-towns in green planning reforms

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Mar 24 19:57:06 GMT 2011

More eco-towns in green planning reforms
10 March 2010 | By Isabel Hardman
Housing minister John Healey revealed two more 
local authorities have joined the list of ‘second wave’ eco-towns.
Sites planned by East Devon District Council and 
Fareham Borough Council will join fourteen other 
developments from nine local authorities which 
could become eco-town settlements. The sites will 
have to meet standards set by the eco-towns 
planning policy statement for low-carbon communities of at least 5,000 homes.
The eleven second-wave councils will receive a 
share of a £10 million fund to help plan the new sites.
Mr Healey also launched a ‘green planning 
rulebook’ for councils and pledged £9.75 million to develop green skills.
He announced a consultation on changes to three 
planning policy statements which will ensure 
councils encourage low carbon and renewable energy on new developments.
The three statements – Climate Change, Natural 
Environment, and Coastal Change – will encourage 
sustainable developments which aim to reduce 
carbon emissions. The additional funding will 
help local councils train members and planners in 
sustainable planning practices.
Mr Healey said: ‘We know we need greener, 
renewable energy if we are to meet our ambitious 
low carbon targets. We also know that the ways 
and means for people to access this energy need to be quicker and easier.
‘The tougher, better guidelines for planning give 
councils a new blueprint, reflecting the latest 
targets and ensuring councils put combating 
climate change at the heart of future development 
– ultimately saving people money on their bills and reducing emissions.’
Planners and builders welcomed the consultation 
proposals. Dr Hugh Ellis, chief planner at the 
Town and Country Planning Association, said: 
‘This is an historic moment. Planning can, and 
must, address the critical need to reshape our 
society and economy into a positive low carbon future.
‘This policy is one of the most dramatic and 
significant steps forward in the development of spatial planning.’
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green 
Building Council, said: ‘Today’s announcement 
recognises the critical role that planning plays 
in tackling climate change and adapting to its 
impacts. Planning really is at the heart of creating sustainable communities.’

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