Eco-towns will be new towns which are exemplar green developments of up to 20,000 homes. They will be designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability, including low and zero carbon technologies and good public transport.


On 4 November 2008, Housing Minister Margaret Beckett MP launched the second stage of the eco-town consultation programme (See News release: Public consultation on toughest ever green standards - 4 November 2008 ) with the publication of a number of key documents aimed at making sure that eco-towns are well designed and built to the highest possible environmental standards:

We strongly encourage you to participate by reading these publications and by sending us your views on the consultation questions outlined in the Draft Planning Policy Statement: Eco-towns - Consultation. The questions cover: eco-towns standards and policy, the overall Programme, individual locations and the Sustainability Appraisal.

The consultation runs until 30 April 2009. This is extended from 6 March 2009 in keeping with the undertaking that we made prior to recent legal proceedings, which concluded in the Government's favour, for additional time to be given for consultation from their final outcome; a copy of the Court's full Judgment is available at - http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2009/308.html (external link).

A Financial viability study of the eco-towns programme prepared with input from external advisors for Communities and Local Government was published on 5 March 2009.

Other ways of getting involved

How eco-towns policy has developed

On 24 July 2008 former Housing Minister Caroline Flint MP set out proposals for the UK's toughest ever green standards for new housing in a progress report on eco-towns. Further details can found in Eco-towns: Living a greener future - progress report and in News release: Eco-towns set to face toughest ever green standards - 24 July 2008.

A panel of leading figures from the worlds of design, the environment, transport and sustainability - selected by the Housing Minister - signed up to provide expert advice and support to bidders and to inject new thinking on how eco-towns could best be delivered in each of the 15 short-listed potential locations. The first round of meetings were held on 19 and 20 May and 3 June 2008. Further information can be found in:

The Eco-towns Prospectus, launched on 23 July 2007, set out the vision and outline criteria for eco-towns. They will be expected to deliver outcomes against the following criteria:

  • zero carbon and environmental standards
  • sustainable transport
  • design quality
  • community involvement
  • employment
  • health
  • use of land.

The launch of the Prospectus was accompanied by an invitation for local authorities and other stakeholders to respond with their views on potential sites.

Further information

Please contact us at ecotowns@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Information is also available on the Directgov: Eco-towns website (external link).

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