29 Jan

Eco towns court bid fails

Eco towns court bid fails

A bid to block the government programme to construct ten eco towns has been blocked by the High Court.

Campaigners opposed to the project on the grounds that the new towns would have a detrimental environmental impact have argued that the government has acted unlawfully by failing to carry out sufficient public consultation.

However, sitting judge Mr Justice Walker threw out the challenge on the basis that the process is at a "relatively early stage" and that there will be many more opportunities for consultation.

He also ruled that the government had not sought to "outflank" the planning system or been operating with a "closed mind".

The ruling was welcomed by housing minister Margaret Beckett, who commented that the towns are "a unique opportunity to deliver much-needed affordable housing".

Commenting on the case last week, Town and Country Planning Association chief executive Gideon Amos remarked that it was "absolutely right" that initiatives such as eco towns are being planned in order to help develop better environmental standards.

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