Elsenham given reprieve from Government's eco-town list - for now

ELSENHAM seems to have ducked the onset of an eco-town on its front door for the time being, after an announcement from government housing secretary John Healy. Today (Thursday) he declared that four sites had met the criteria ready to go on to full publi

ELSENHAM seems to have ducked the onset of an eco-town on its front door for the time being, after an announcement from government housing secretary John Healy.

Today (Thursday) he declared that four sites had met the criteria ready to go on to full public consultation and that the Essex village site was NOT included in that list.

However, Mr Healey said he wanted to see at least six 'second-wave' developments - including North East Elsenham - and up to �5 million is being made available for councils to conduct further planning work on proposals.

Debate over eco-towns started in April last year, when the government released details of 15 proposed sites which it planned to whittle down to 10 to be built by 2020.


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Elsenham was on that list of 10 and would house around 5000 'low carbon' flats and houses contributing to housing targets of three million new homes over the next 12 years.

But local residents say that the site chosen by the Government is badly thought out, environmentally harmful and would damage the local way of life.

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Mr Healey maintained the eco-towns were the greener way forward.

He said: "If Britain is going to be successful and safe from climate change in the future, we have to change the way we live now. More than a quarter of CO2 emissions come from houses, so we are not only making improvements now, we are establishing pioneering places that, in ten years' time, will set the standard for every new town and community.

"We are leading the way on the world stage with these developments by radically rethinking how we design, plan and build our homes we can create zero carbon developments, which combine affordable housing with new green infrastructures and a higher quality of life."

He added: "I recognise that the proposals can raise strong opinions, but climate change threatens us all and with our commitment to the eco-towns we are taking steps to meet this challenge and help build more affordable housing".

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