The following is an extract from Hansard detailing questions asked of the Department of Communities and Local Government ministerial team yesterday afternoon:
"T6.  Damian Hinds (East Hampshire) (Con): Can the Minister give an update on the expected timing of a further announcement on the proposed eco-town at Bordon, and does he agree that there should be a local referendum before any large-scale development there takes place?
The Minister for Housing and Local Government (Grant Shapps): Just to be clear, my hon. Friend raises an important subject, because eco-towns were being pushed on to areas without local communities having any say about them. Indeed, there was even a separate planning policy statement about eco-homes under the previous Government. We are not in the game of pushing communities into building homes in ways that are not compatible or sustainable locally. I am absolutely certain that my hon. Friend’s local authority will want to take notice of all local opinions and balance that against things such as the new homes bonus benefits, which it will get from building new homes."
What exactly is going on here? Mr Shapps response seems a touch disingenuous and does not attempt to answer the first part of Damian Hinds' question. We also note that is was Mr Hinds (East Hampshire) and NOT Mr Simpson (Broadland) who asked the question - Mr Simpson seems as reluctant as ever to involve himself in this debate after his initial declaration of opposition to the proposed Rackheath eco-town prior to the election.