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CABE to to design review proposed eco-towns

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The government’s design watchdog will give specialist advice to local authorities working on four new eco-towns, it was announced today

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has created a special design review panel to examine eco-town design chaired by former RIBA president Sunand Prasad.

The panel will provide advice to local authorities on proposals for the four designated eco-towns: Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire; Rackheath in Norfolk; North-West Bicester in Oxfordshire; and St Austell in Cornwall.

‘It is in the public interest that these schemes should be reviewed by CABE’s independent panel,’ said Diane Haigh director of design review at CABE.

The specialist eco-town panel will champion coherent, enduring and high-quality design and seek to achieve exemplary standards of sustainability and environmental responsiveness – according to CABE.

‘The eco-town programme is all about learning by trying out sustainable, low carbon planning and design solutions that are more difficult and time consuming to try out in heavily constrained existing settlements,’ said Prasad.

He added: ‘A successful eco-town will be a place where people want to live, not just one that ticks the boxes’.

Other members include: Chris Twinn, director at Arup; Bill Gething of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Peter Studdert of South Cambridgeshire District Council; masterplanner and urban designer Jon Rowland; and architect Gerard Maccreanor of Maccreanor Lavington.

The specialist panel’s first review will be held on 2 December 2009.

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