Northstowe - revert to Plan A, MP urges Government

THE Government should revert to Plan A and make Northstowe Cambridgeshire s first eco-town, an MP demanded on Tuesday. And it should abandon plans to build another eco-down near Hinxton, South Cambridgeshire member Andrew Lansley told the House of Commons

THE Government should revert to Plan A and make Northstowe Cambridgeshire's first eco-town, an MP demanded on Tuesday.

And it should abandon plans to build another eco-down near Hinxton, South Cambridgeshire member Andrew Lansley told the House of Commons.

Last summer, he welcomed initial plans to build 9,500-home Northstowe, on the site of the former Oakington airfield, as a carbon neutral development.

"But ten months later, Northstowe, despite having a high-quality guided busway being built to link it to major Cambridge employment sites, is no longer to be an eco-town," he said in a Commons debate.

"With only 20 per cent renewable energy proposed, and starting with level 3 on the code for sustainable homes, the outline planning application is not matching up to our local environmental ambitions.

"In Cambridgeshire, we want Northstowe to be the first eco-town. If Ministers will back this, it can happen. An eco-town could be starting within two years. Instead, Northstowe lacks the eco-town impetus, while the Government have put 'Hanley Grange' (ie Hinxton Grange) into their eco-town shortlist.

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"This proposal will fail to meet the sustainability criteria for the eco-town shortlist and this will become clear through the consultation period," he predicted. "It is a recycled project from 2004, dressed up in green clothing.

"But it is in the wrong place. All the local planning processes have favoured Northstowe first, and a major (12,000 homes) urban extension in Cambridge East as the second eco-town development.

"Why can't Ministers simply do what they intended, and what they said? Make Northstowe the first eco-town," he demanded. "Drop Hanley Grange. Put Northstowe into the eco-town shortlist now.