I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 108W. This sets out details of spending on the eco-towns programme, including publicity, public consultation and consultant costs.
In common with the normal practice of the Department, we do not keep a record of time spent on specific policies and projects, so it is not possible to provide an estimate of official time spent on the eco-towns project since 23 July 2007. Currently nine officials are part of the eco-towns team, but there are also a number of other officials across the Department that contribute to the project, including those working in the areas of planning and climate change.