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Conservation architect slams 'unsustainable' eco-town

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A Hampshire-based conservation architect has launched a campaign to stop an eco-town in his area and demanded the government clarifiy its position on new build ‘sustainable’ towns

Jack Warshaw of Conservation Architecture & Planning has criticsed both East Hampshire District Council and his local Conservative MP for backing the proposals to build 5,500 households in the small town of Whitehill Bordon.

According to the architect, the project, which he described as ‘laughable’, would fail to meet its eco-town aspirations.

Warshaw said: ‘[Architects should] improve areas with their buildings and not blight them with nonsustainable overdevelopment.’

The project aims to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, with a carbon footprint of 2.37 tonnes.

Warshaw also cited Housing Minister Grant Shapps pre-election pledge to halt eco-town developments where they were locally unwelcome, questioning his commitment to the proposed policy.

Clarifying the government’s position a spokesperson for Shapps said: ‘We will back genuine new eco-town or eco-village developments… We will not impose eco-town developments (through national planning rules) on communities which do not want them.’

Despite Warshaw’s efforts, and those of the Bordon Area Action Group of which he is a member, planned initial stages of the eco-town are going ahead. A £28,000 fitness trail completed this summer, and planning permission has been lodged for two small-scale exemplar projects.

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