The eco-town era has now ended - official!

It seems that the new government are beginning to make their intentions much clearer. SNUB has recently received communication from Grant Shapps which plainly indicates that things are changing!

Mr Shapps says: Under Conservatives there will be no special status for eco-towns over and above any other housing. This is because we want all housing to be eco-friendly regardless of the name tag applied. We’re committed to seeing zero carbon homes built by 2016 and do not feel that calling them eco-towns makes any sense, particularly since many of the eco-town proposals were not particularly sustainable anyway.

We will also ensure that where houses are built will become entirely a matter for local communities, rather than directed by ministers in Whitehall.  Local people will benefit from additional cash delivered through pound for pound council tax matching incentives from central government. Where and how many homes are built will be entirely up to local communities to decide and we will not be pushing specific locations. Instead we will allow the market to respond to genuine housing need and for a proper balance to be struck between sustainable development and the new income that this will bring to neighbourhoods to improve services and facilities in return.

Under our localised approach, existing residents will have a much greater say about what happens to their local area and because they’ll benefit from the proceeds of development where it does take place, we believe that the right balance will be struck.

The last government got itself obsessed with planning for a very small number of homes which was the eco-town project. That era is at an end. In future all homes will be ‘green’ and where they’re built will be a matter for local people to determine.”

He goes on: One of the elements of localism is that my role is to set the correct national framework and then genuinely be prepared to leave it to local communities to make their own decisions locally. Hence meeting would not fit with this approach or be of any particularly assistance.

We're making the changes required to provide a level playing field and this will dramatically strengthen your hand as local residents.

Having said that a meeting wouldn't be useful, your email has been, because it reinforces the need for us to change the system in order to put communities in charge of their destiny, so please do not for one moment think that I'm ignoring you. I hear you loud and clear.”

If we hear of the playing field becoming less than level we will insist on a meeting!


  1. It is a pity Broadland District Council can't hear him. We will have to watch the excuse to raise the Council Tax just given by the above response.

  2. It's about time we heard some sensible talk about so called 'eco-towns' - nice one Grant!

  3. All new developments are going to be Eco, about time !!!

  4. I wonder if Broadland Council will isten to his comments. Personally I doubt it as they only heed their developer buddies. They do not give a damn about thev residents. Perhaps we should reduce their salaries.