[Mr. Eric Martlew in the Chair] — Eco-towns

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 3rd June 2008.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 9:30 am, 3rd June 2008

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. The point is that if the measures were genuinely about building eco-houses and towns, and constructing homes on brown-field sites, I—and I am sure many of my hon. Friends—would be willing to support them. However, an eco-town was to be located—I am delighted to say it has now finally been excluded—in the Skelton part of the Vale of York in the city of York on a green belt site that is prone to flooding. More roads and houses would have needed to be built and one of the few green belt parts of the city of York would have been concreted over. Most of the towns are to be built on green belt or greenfield sites, on prime agricultural land, or on land that is likely to flood or is at risk from flooding. Obviously, I do not know all the locations, but according to the Government's prospectus, eco-towns do not appear to be separate and distinct from existing towns but well linked to them. Most of the proposed sites seem to be miles away from existing settlements.