All too predictably, Britain’s leading developers are using the eco-town template to dust off long-rejected proposals and re-submit shoddy housing schemes.
The potential loss of countryside around Micheldever is not the only problem with the proposed Eagle Star development. Despite the railway station, a large new eco-town equidistant between Andover, Winchester and Basingstoke will also be very bad for traffic. There’s a good briefing from the Dever Society on the issue here.
My fears about Housing Minister Caroline Flint’s forthcoming decision on Micheldever are not just driven by concerns about the Government’s desire to be seen taking some symbolic ‘green’ action. What worries me most is the combination of this desire to appear green with Labour’s love of large top-down solutions to any problem (in this case housing) and their strangely obsessive desire for approval by big business (in this case a company that has just appointed Tony Blair as an advisor on climate change).