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Eco-Towns

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if her Department will advise on the (a) permeability and (b) resilience to floods of materials used for homes in the new eco-towns; and if she will ensure that such materials are used in constructing such houses; (209440)

(2) what criteria homes in new eco-towns must meet in respect of the adaptation criteria for the Government’s climate change objectives.

As we have set out in “Eco-towns—Living a greener future”, eco-towns should show that they are sustainable under present climatic conditions, but are also resilient to future climate change. This will mean taking account of predicted changes in rainfall and increased temperature in building design and construction, not just for homes but all buildings, including schools, shops and offices. The precise features of climate change adaptation that are required will vary from place to place, but we will make sure that the process of locating and designing eco-towns respects the local circumstances, rather than setting a one-size-fits-all blueprint for what a future eco-town should look like.

There is also a strong expectation for eco-towns to have all their built-up parts, including housing fully within Flood Zone 1 (the lowest risk). A water cycle study should be completed for the eco-town and related areas, and this includes an assessment of flood risk and surface water drainage.