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PR 52 - Tougher green standards not just for Eco-Towns

24 July 2008

Tougher green standards for eco-towns are welcome but should be the aim for all new housing development.      

Housing Minister Caroline Flint today announced her intention to introduce tougher environmental targets for eco-towns. The standards being developed are set to include:

  • Achieving zero carbon status on all buildings with an eco-town
  • 40 per cent of the land within the eco-town must be green space
  • Ecotowns must provide a minimum 30 per cent affordable housing
  • The average home must be located within a 10 minute walk of public transport and services
  • Ensuring that the majority of journeys can be made via non car transport    

RTPI Policy Director Rynd Smith said; \"Most of the standards proposed today for eco-towns should apply to all new housing. Carbon neutral homes, ready access to public transport and the provision of plenty of green spaces shouldn't be aims unique to eco-towns. They are the minimum standard that should be demanded of any new development. 

\"Today's announcement highlights the need for the government to shift from an eco-town to an eco-quarters policy, which encompasses urban expansion projects, redevelopments and regeneration of existing urban areas. Applying more rigorous environmental standards to these types of development will bring us much closer to a sustainable housing future. It will also mean people are provided with homes which are already near by to existing infrastructure and services, like public transport networks. That will make the government's green targets easier to achieve.

\"The government is right to demand high environmental standards of new developments. Pursuing a policy which promotes intelligent urban design, encourages the creation of combined live-work areas and encompasses redevelopment and expansion projects will contribute meaningfully to the environmental outcomes that the Government rightly seeks. Yesterday's report by Matthew Taylor on rural communities usefully highlights some of the ways forward.\"

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479 dale.atkinson@rtpi.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

1.       The new eco-town standards set out by the CLG are available from here

2.       The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk

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