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|Press Release: 5th November 2008|
Eco-town at Bordon/Whitehill
An Eco-town at Bordon/Whitehill has today taken a step forward on the path to becoming a reality. On Tuesday, the Government published a draft Eco-towns Planning Policy Statement (PPS) and sustainability impact assessment that lists Bordon/Whitehill as Grade B amongst a list of 12 short-listed sites. This means that the Government thinks the site would be suitable for an Eco-town, subject to meeting specific planning and design objectives.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England's Hampshire branch has been monitoring the developing situation at Bordon/Whitehill in the light of local residents' needs and views; the need to protect the important environment of the area, and particularly in context of the existing planning system. Over-arching this is the draft South East Plan, on which CPRE Hampshire has commented in detail.
John Venning, chairman of CPRE Hampshire, and a resident of Petersfield, said:
"We are trying to contribute constructively to the discussion about the future of Bordon/Whitehill, the only one of the famous eco-towns for which the local people have any enthusiasm. There are some very serious difficulties involved in protecting the immediate surroundings and in making sure the place really is as green as it needs to be. We want to help find the solutions, if we can."
Edward Dawson, CPRE Director for the South East said:
"The South East remains under pressure for Eco-towns following the announcement by Housing Minister, Margaret Beckett. Three or four major sites are proposed by the Government for the region, out of 12 sites in all. These are still too many."
Edward Dawson continued:
"There is a lot to do in responding to this latest consultation. We have until 24 February to put together our detailed views. In the meantime, Bordon/Whitehill has been graded as B in the Government's new classification system. Those involved need to ensure that the best case is made of a sustainable and convincing scheme that provides good housing people need against a background of viable green principles."
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CPRE/H/154Notes to editors
CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.
CPRE has opposed the allocation of Bordon/Whitehill as a Strategic Development Area in the draft South East Plan. The basis of CPRE Hampshire's conditional support for significant additional housing at Bordon/Whitehill is that it would be an eco-town. Any building has to be designed and planned within a strict environmental framework in keeping with the needs of residents of Bordon/Whitehill and villages in the surrounding countryside. CPRE Hampshire believes that an eco-town should bring high targets for modal shift away from car use, better energy efficiency as well as new local jobs and town centre facilities that reduce the need to travel. A standard SDA at Bordon/Whitehill of the size proposed would be quite unacceptable because of the impact on the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the designated South Downs National Park and the wider countryside.
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