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Select committee advises caution over eco-towns

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A parliamentary select committee has warned the government to look the UK’s ailing post-war New Towns before pressing ahead with its eco-towns programme.

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) report also highlighted a previous document published in 2002 by the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee, which stated that New Towns such as Telford and Redditch were 'now suffering from uniform deterioration'.

The select committee added that the government's response to the earlier findings was ‘partial, half-hearted and inadequate’.

This week’s CLG report found its predecessors' evaluations to be soundly based and advised the government to identify the ‘special needs' of the New Towns to ‘learn the lessons of these huge planning experiments for the future’.

The document said: ‘This report explains why the recommendations of our predecessors remain relevant, and why they should be acted on.

‘There are also valuable lessons to be learned from the New Towns programme in the context of current planning and development policy, in particular the "eco-towns" programme.’

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