Cuts Watch #120: Eco-towns
The government has written to local authorities to announce that the funding for eco-towns is being halved. Eco-towns are developments of at least 5,000 houses that meet minimum sustainability standards, including providing affordable housing, using low and zero carbon technologies and incorporating public transport.
In February, the Department for Communities and Local Government allocated £60 million of funding for infrastructure and pilot projects to try out new green technologies in the first wave of eco-towns: Whitehill Bordon, Hampshire; China Clay Community, St Austell; Rackheath, Norfolk and North-west Bicester, Oxfordshire. In March, £10 million of development funding was allocated for projects in a second wave, at locations in Shoreham Harbour, Northstowe, Taunton, Yeovil, Leeds, Lincoln and Coventry.
In his letter to local authorities, housing minister Grant Shapps announced that funding is being cut by 50 per cent and made subject to value for money, sustainability and ‘localism’ criteria.