Sustainable Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 5th February 2003.

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Photo of John Prescott John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Local Government and the Regions, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 12:31 pm, 5th February 2003

I agree with what my hon. Friend says, and I am grateful for his welcome. As he says, the issues can be different in different areas. We want to see eco-friendly greenfield development, as we say in our report: my hon. Friend should read it. As the Select Committee has also said, energy efficiency and water resource efficiency are also crucial. That has already been achieved with the millennium village. I am not merely advocating a development; the development has already taken place. I initiated it back in 1997. I wanted to build something that we could remember—a village rather than a dome, perhaps. The village remains, representing an important step towards achieving the desired standards.

As for the green space argument, as I have said, more green-belt areas are available. We are ensuring that we can do more and more building on brownfield sites. Increasing the density of housing on such sites will take the pressure off demand for greenfield areas. Meanwhile, we shall see an increasing number of green spaces in our urban areas. Empty spaces will be turned into places that we can enjoy.