Chair MMETAG to Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP
Minister for Housing
Department for Communities and Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5DU                                                                                               25th June 2008

Dear Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP,

Opposition To Proposed Eco-Town In The Marston Vale & New Marston, Bedfordshire.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

The Marston Moretaine Eco-Town Action Group (MMETAG) had it’s inaugural meeting on 24th June as duly elected Chair I write to outline our initial objections to the Eco-town proposals for Marston Vale and New Marston as follows:

Eco-Lite – The so called green credentials for the proposed eco towns are no where near as convincing as the government claims they would be. For example, even by the government’s own standards, all new homes will have to be carbon neutral by 2016 anyway, making a mockery as to the government’s claims that eco towns will be more sustainable than any other new developments. This is clearly not the case.

Commuter Towns – The small allocation of land for employment purposes within the proposals, combined with historically low levels of unemployment, means the new eco-towns would be dormitory towns for the thousands of residents who would live locally but have to commute long distances to travel to and from work. I believe this would undermine the government’s commitment to improving the work:life balance and lead to an increase in the carbon footprint of those residents living in the eco-towns.

Major Infrastructure Deficit – The lack of investment in infrastructure required for the creation of genuinely sustainable communities in terms of transport and community facilities for example would undermine the quality of life for local residents. The lack of investment in infrastructure concerns roads as well as rail – the M1 widening scheme has already been halted and the A421 is heavily congested with existing levels of traffic.

Lack Of Public Consultation – This proposal is just an alternative way to by-pass many of the hurdles of the planning system, by fast tracking a proposal to build thousands of homes in the Marston Vale – proposals which were already in existence long before the concept of eco-towns had even been devised. Local residents in the communities most affected are concerned their views are being ignored, over the interests of the large corporate developers.

Our Action Group which is representative of every section of society in Marston Moretaine has no political affiliations and is non-political in objectively presenting the views of the people of Marston Moretaine in opposition to the proposed eco-towns.  We should be registered an interested party for the purposes of statutory consultation in every phase of the proposal and correspondence should be sent to em at the above address.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Roberts

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