Eco-town planning policy to be scrapped

According to an article in today's Planning magazine, the eco-town planning policy will be merged into one document with other Planning Policy Statements effectively scrapping it. Apparently developers and councils working on three of the four proposed 'eco-towns' are either actively adapting their plans to fit their own goals or thinking of doing so.

The article states "In Norfolk, Broadland District Council is preparing to sign an agreement with housebuilder Barratt Homes to develop a 200-home "exemplar" scheme as part of its Rackheath eco-town plans.

The homes are due to form the first phase of development at the site and will conform to the standards set out in the PPS, although the council said there is "uncertainty" over how the axeing of the PPS will affect wider plans for development.

Ben Burgess, planning projects manager at the council, said " It does call into question how we are going to take plans for the wider site forward." However, he said that the local authority is "still looking to call it an eco-development", adding that the council may adopt the PPS standards locally."

It seems BDC can't quite make up their minds what they are doing, having already changed the designation of the development to "Rackheath low-carbon community". They have also always spoken of introducing their own code, the Rackheath code, rather than adhering to the Code for Sustainable homes level 6 which they seemed to think was unnecessarily prescriptive.

Only Bicester NW is currently intending to deliver an eco-town development as set out in the eco-town planning policy. However, The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has said: "The eco-credentials of the scheme are limited and there is little deviation from the standard suburban housing model.

"For the exemplar site, we would expect to see a proposal that captures the essential aspirations of an eco-town: the current proposals fall short of that mark."

The eco-town fiasco seems set to rumble on.


  1. We always questioned whether it was an honest attempt to create an eco town, it is in the wrong place. It is also too small and to be built on greenfield land.
    The Inspectors were extremely critical of the plan having asked directly how this could be achieved when all other developers were expressing concerns about the viability of the GNDP plans.
    This was to be built to the highest standards which can cost up to 30% more than conventional dwellings. It would have much more community infrastructure including a self contained power station and a tram system.
    The comments from Broadland Staff illustrate the dilemma which they have created for themselves.

  2. The Council is preparing to sign an agreement with the housebuilder Barratt Homes but what it does not say is that this agreement includes a requirement for the Council to buy the land for the developer using public money.
    It seems that they have effectively compromised their position as the Local Planning Authority as they will then share any profits arising from the development.
    Is that legal?

  3. Broadland Council are effectively acting as developers. Broadland, Barratts, Building Partnerships and the landowners are all up to their necks in this together. Interesting that Paul Knowles of Building Partnerships lives in Thorpe End which will be very close and greatly affected by the NDR and the huge development.
    Mr Knowles stands to make a vast amount of money and no doubt he will move away after he and his clan have destroyed the countryside, leaving the residents of Thorpe End to live with the mess and face devaluation of their properties.

  4. I'm fed up with all this negative 'waves' regarding the eco town.....let's have an eco town...grade 8 and above ( not grade 4-6)...I am sure Broadland, Mr. knowles and Barrats can deliver a 'world-clas' developement!..I mean the Saudis with all thier billions of £££ can't deliver one but we at Broadland can..just like the our answer to the 'broadband problem'! we, at broadland are commited with 50,000 baked-bean cans and a piece of string to deliver 10 mega-beans to every home...and it's this same understanding of technology and investment commitment that building Partnerships ( along with Barrat Strategic....who by the way have built NOTHING and thier parent company are £300 million in the RED!!)will deliver an eccco-town to Rakehetttth ( sorry, the string broke).....

  5. You have been told Norfolk will get 224,000 more people. The 37,000 "homes" is the beginning. This started under a Labour Government, Conservative / Liberal Government does nothing to stop it
    The Green Party demand a cycle lane painted on the concrete that will soon cover Norfolk.