Why are further locations being announced?

£5m was announced for studies and assessment work for future potential eco-development locations in July 2009, alongside the publication of the PPS. CLG has received expressions of interest for this funding from nine authorities and city regions (comprising 14 potential sites) which have responded to this opportunity. These locations wish to examine eco-developments for different reasons, but they are interested in developing to the standards in the eco-towns PPS. All proposals will undergo feasibility and other studies, to determine their suitability for development to eco-towns standards, prior to local consultation as part of the local planning process.

You can see the full list of further locations in the Map of areas expressing interest in developing to eco-town standard (PDF 1.5 Mb).

What has happened so far and what are the next steps?

Stage 1 - covered the initial consultation from 3 April 2008 to 30 June 2008 for preliminary views on the eco-towns vision and potential locations.

Stage 2 - on 4 November 2008 we published a draft eco-towns Draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) for consultation together with an accompanying Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) of all the potential locations and related documents Non-Technical Summary, Impact Assessment and Financial Viability Study of the eco-towns programme. The consultation closed on 30 April 2009.

As part of this there were a range of exhibition and consultation events in venues close to the sites of potential eco-towns.

Stage 3 - on 16 July 2009 we published the Planning Policy Statement: eco-towns which included a shortlist of locations with the potential to be an eco-town , together with a Location Decision Statement, Summary of consultation responses,Impact Assessment, Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment (SA/HRA) Statement and Addendum.

This included an invitation for submissions of expressions of interest for locations which wish to pursue development to eco-towns standards.

Next steps in the process are as follows:

Stage 4 - individual schemes in the first four locations identified as having the potential to have an eco-town will need to submit planning applications, which will be for local authorities to determine through the local planning process. Those expressing an interest in development to eco-towns standards will undertake further studies and develop proposals further.

What standards will eco-towns have to meet?

The eco-towns standards are set out in the Planning Policy Statement: eco-towns and ensure that these new developments protect the environment whilst providing decent homes surrounded by quality green spaces.

The standards cover - zero carbon, employment, transport, local services, green infrastructure, biodiversity, water, flood risk, waste, transition community and governance, healthy living, landscape and the historic environment.

The PPS standards include:

  • zero carbon status across the town as a whole, including commercial and public buildings as well as homes - a significantly tougher threshold than any existing or agreed targets
  • 40 per cent of the area within the town to be green space, at least half of which should be open to the public (for example as parks or recreation areas)
  • a minimum of one job per house reached by walking, cycling or public transport to reduce dependence on the car
  • all homes located within ten minutes walk of frequent public transport and everyday neighbourhood services
  • smart, efficient, affordable homes taking their energy from the sun, wind and earth with at least 30% of the homes being affordable

More details about the standards are set out in Planning Policy Statement: eco-towns.

You can see a video about these standards and take a 'walk through' what a town living up to them might look like on the DirectGov website - eco-towns.