Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: Dearne Valley eco town


Councils in the Sheffield City Region are considering making the Dearne Valley meet the standards of the Government's eco-town status.

Housing Minister John Healey has announced proposals for a second wave of world leading eco-towns and pledged to double the money to a total of £10m to support councils in developing their plans.

In July, Mr Healey announced that four locations had met the tough standards to become eco-towns.

Councils in the Sheffield City Region want to use the eco-towns concept to carry out a broader survey of potential, test alternative options for development and then use the eco-town concept and standards to apply across the Dearne Valley.

The development will need to meet the pioneering green standards set out in the eco-towns planning policy statement published in July. Proposals for sustainable developments need to include 5,000 homes and demonstrate innovative ideas for how jobs, schools and services are delivered in low carbon ways that will help in the UK respond to climate change.

Wentworth MP John Healey, welcomed the interest: "They have recognised that eco-towns in the future will not be exceptional and the standards we are setting now will spread like an eco-echo for all new development.

"We said we wanted to see up to ten eco-towns by 2020, so we will now work closely with these councils and communities to develop their bids and ensure that the public can have their say at every stage.

"We are leading the world with these developments which combine affordable housing with new green infrastructures and an exceptional quality of life."

Earlier in the year consultants Urbed published the Dearne Valley Eco Vision that would see the Dearne Valley reimagined as an eco-valley and reduce the community's CO2 emissions such that, within a decade, it will be the lowest carbon community of its type in the UK.

Developed by the Dearne Valley Special Board, features include new transport links, developing environmental technologies, efficient and sustainable land use and strong communities, with purpose, identity and cohesion.

Sheffield City Region website


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