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Eco-Towns: Planning

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consultation the Government have had with local planning authorities before potential sites for eco-towns are announced by developers; what planning procedures apply to eco-towns; what criteria she will use to ensure the sites chosen do not adversely affect the environment; and whether there will be a presumption against building eco-towns on (a) functional floodplains and (b) the green belt. (190512)

We are contacting local authorities in areas where schemes look to have good potential as part of an initial assessment of bids and expect to publish proposals shortly. We are aware that some developers have already publicised their bids and that is a decision for them.

In terms of the planning process I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry) on 16 January 2008, Official Report, column 1262W.

In relation to ensuring the environment is not adversely affected I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Cotswold (Mr. Clifton-Brown) on 29 February 2006, Official Report, column 1991W. This will ensure that development on floodplains and the green belt are considered in the usual way as part of the planning process.