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Sorrell pans Farrells' plans for Gateway park

The chair of CABE has slammed Farrells' plans for a national park in the heart of the Thames Gateway.

Speaking at yesterday's Thames Gateway Forum (24 November), John Sorrell said he did not believe the mammoth development zones east of London were the right place for a massive, protected park and described Farrell's proposals as a 'gift to the Nimbys'.

The revelation comes less than two weeks after reports announced Farrells' park plans had been given the green light by housing minister Yvette Cooper.

Sorrell, who was discussing the commission's approach to promoting good design in the Gateway area, said: 'Farrells' proposal is a good starting point- but a national park has drawbacks which would make it impractical here. National parks limit development.'

He added: 'It would add another layer of bureaucracy to a programme which, if anything, needs to have its delivery mechanisms simplified.'

However, Sorrell did champion the idea of a carbon-neutral valley. He said: 'At CABE we think this should be the most environmentally sustainable place you could buy a new home, rent an office, travel, go to school or attend university.

'More than that, we think the Gateway offers Britain an opportunity to demonstrate sustainable development on an internationally significant scale.'

by Richard Waite

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