Cllr Pascal’s Letter in Daily Telegraph

11th January 2009

Eco-towns not eco
SIR – It is not just the proposed Pennbury eco-town that is “unworkable” (report, January 4) but also the one at Marston Vale in Bedfordshire.

The predominant land use is currently greenfield, not brownfield, contrary to the stated objectives for eco-towns. Almost half of all journeys will be by car and there are no plans for road improvement schemes to cater for the new traffic.

Neither are there any proposals to create new employment in the area with most people commuting. In any case, there is already an extensive house building programme in Bedfordshire. A 25 per cent increase is planned by 2021 with neighbouring Milton Keynes planning to double in size.

So who is going to live in all these new houses?

As Michael Edwards of the University College London school of planning has said: “It is extremely difficult to make towns of 20,000 people the slightest bit self-sufficient. Inevitably people will be commuting to get to some decent shops or the nearest Marks & Spencer.”

The fundamental flaw with proposed eco-towns is that there is nothing “eco” about them. Isn’t it time the Government shelved its proposals and started listening to the local MPs and councils about ways of providing new housing that doesn’t destroy the countryside and rural life?

Cllr Ghislain Pascal
Ampthill, Bedfordshire

Click here to view letter on Telegraph’s own site – 9th letter down on page.

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