A new ecotown could be built in the South Hams next year.
The local authorities involved in the development Sherford, which is planned for the Kingsbridge environs, have ‘expressed an interest’ for it be one of the ten new ecotowns in a programme announced by Gordon Brown. And hence get a load of cash thrown at it.
To support Sherford’s proposal, Devon County Council have proposed a rising scale of energy efficiency, leading to zero carbon housing* by 2016. The developers, Redtree, strongly opposed the County’s recommendation, and South Hams Council will give no indication who they will support, when they consider the planning application – expected to happen in January or February.
Steve Melia, spokesman for South Hams FoE is a member of the Deptartment for Transport’s Round Table on Ecotowns. This committee, which includes representatives of several environmental organisations, is advising the DfT on the transport guidelines and selection criteria for ecotowns.
Steve told the PRSD: “I was surprised to hear Sherford had applied for Ecotown status. I doubt the civil servants will be taken in by the ‘greenwash’ surrounding Sherford. If the developers and councils are serious about this, zero carbon housing by 2016 will be an absolute minimum requirement. And they’ll probably need to make some other significant changes.
“We understand that councils can’t publicly prejudge a planning application, but South Hams have a clear choice – to accept the county’s recommendation, or cave in to lobbying from the developers. Which way they jump will be a key test of their green credentials. Are they serious, or is it just hype? In a few weeks, we’ll know the answer to this.”