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Sustainable Development: Northstowe

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what role his Department will play in ensuring the incorporation of sustainable energy and heat distribution in the development of the eco-town at Northstowe; and what plans he has to establish monitoring arrangements to assist other eco-towns to learn from the Northstowe experience. (152273)

I have been asked to reply.

Northstowe predates the eco-towns programme and its planning is already progressing, but we see it as a green exemplar and it will be an advanced prototype for eco-towns. The Northstowe Masterplan is currently being reviewed ahead of submitting the planning application shortly, and the review includes consideration of sustainable energy and high energy efficiency.

In the Eco-towns Prospectus, published on 23 July which mentions the development of the eco-town at Northstowe, we have set out the outcomes we expect to see from eco-towns. These include incorporating renewable energy systems, not just for homes, but schools, shops, offices and community facilities. We have also asked the Town and Country Planning Association to undertake a study into the practical application of the key sustainability and development criteria for eco-towns, which will draw on case studies, such as Northstowe, and this will help us to learn from the experience of others and so inform the development of eco-towns.