"Yvette Cooper when Housing Minister decided to have a competition to see whether developers and others could come forward with suggestions for new eco-town projects which would be new sustainable developments of low-carbon housing.
Quite a number of projects were put forward, many re-heated development schemes.
However, in this area an American company – somewhat out of the blue – came forward with a master plan for a new substantial “eco-town” on what was in shorthand described as Western/Otmoor.
There was considerable opposition to this project locally, largely because it would have almost all entirely been on green land and a substantial amount on green belt land but also opposition because it was felt that such a new satellite settlement, if it had gone ahead, would have simply undermined the viability of Bicester and done nothing to enhance Bicester’s coherent development.
As a consequence, Cherwell District Council with all Party support put forward a counter proposal to the Department of Communities and Local Government for an eco-town settlement on the north west quartile of the town.In due course, Margaret Beckett and the last Labour Government accepted this counter proposal.
Interestingly I think of all of the original eco-town suggestions, only four were deemed viable and I think of those four, probably only two are now going ahead in earnest, of which Bicester is one
- the other being in Cornwall."
What does he mean by this we wonder? In a letter to a constituent dated 16th May our own MP, Keith Simpson, has re-stated his position regarding the proposed Rackheath eco-town:
No wonder then that Mr Baldry seems as confused as the rest of us about what is (or isn't) going on.