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Regional Spatial Strategies: Eco-towns

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 4 June 2008, Official Report, column 983W, on eco-towns, whether regional spatial strategies will include plans for eco-town developments where the development is not supported by the local planning authority. (213932)

Regional spatial strategies (RSS) set out a vision for how a region can tackle housing shortages and affordability. New eco-towns could be part of how regions meet their housing shortfall.

The 15 shortlisted eco-town locations have only reached the first stage. Bids that have cleared the first hurdle will face considerably tougher tests ahead if they progress and will need to improve proposals still further. All the shortlisted locations will face further examination including public consultation and a detailed sustainability appraisal which will test the merits and challenges for each one. Importantly no new eco-town housing will be on the green belt.

All proposals for eco-towns will be subject to the planning process and subject to local planning decisions. However it is too early to speculate on what may happen in each local area and on local planning authority support.