17 Jul 2009 10:07:03
Eco towns given green light as tougher UK housing standards announced
Four sites have been approved by the UK government for the construction of low-carbon eco-towns.
Housing minister John Healey has announced that developments each comprising 5,000 houses are to move ahead to the planning stage in Norfolk, Cornwall, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
They will serve as a platform from which to pioneer and launch the energy-efficient design and infrastructure necessary for lower carbon emissions.
As well as the plans, Mr Healey also announced the introduction of tougher standards for new homes.
From 2016 all new residential buildings are to be built to zero-carbon specifications as part of plans to reduce the quarter of all UK emissions that come from housing.
"More than a quarter of CO2 emissions come from houses, so we are not only making improvements now, we are establishing pioneering places that in ten years' time will set the standard for every new town and community," the minister said.
The eco-developments will be fully equipped with smart meters to measure electricity consumption, community heat sources and electric car charging points.
Homes will also feature renewable energy technologies to draw power from the sun, wind and earth.
All schools, shops, restaurants and public buildings in the eco-towns will also be designed to emit zero carbon.
The government aims to have ten eco-towns under development by 2020.http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingsupply/ecoto...