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New Towns: Planning Permission

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who the applications for new town developments are from; and what the timetable is for the selection of the 10 candidate sites. (163939)

As the Prime Minister told the House on 6 November we have received over 50 expressions of interest in respect of eco-towns. These have come from both local authorities and developers, and will be considered in a cross-government strategic review. The intention is then to announce the selected schemes in February 2008. We expect that there will be up to five eco-towns by 2016 and 10 by 2020.

I regret that I am not able to divulge the identities of those applying for eco-towns in advance of the completion of the process to assess the expressions of interest that have been received. This would have the potential to be detrimental to the Department's interests in the award of funding and obtaining best value, as well as to the commercial interests of those applicants not selected.