Institute welcomes plan-led switch for eco-towns

The RTPI has welcomed the new emphasis in the DCLG's draft planning policy statement (PPS) proposing that eco-towns should take their place in the plan-led system.

"This in part answers widespread professional and community concern that the programme would become a means of foisting centrally designated housing proposals onto locations and communities that had already made adequate forward housing provision in sound and up-to-date plans," commented RTPI policy director Rynd Smith. "The PPS also holds out the prospect of eco-towns entering the planning mainstream in due course, with new proposals being brought forward through regional and local plans in balanced consultation with local communities," he added. The maintenance of eco-towns as a stand-alone programme does not fully respond to the RTPI's call for the wider application of market-ready green standards to new neighbourhoods and communities throughout England. Such neighbourhoods should relate to existing settlements, for example as brownfield urban villages and sustainable urban extensions, said Smith.

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