Campaigners warn chancellor not to botch his budget by repeating eco-towns disaster

Campaigners are calling for more details on locations and sustainability standards for new garden cities from the budget.

Campaign to Protect Rural England said sites and eco standards must be tested and agreed through the local planning system. Meanwhile investment in transport must avoid environmental damage and secure prosperity.

The budget is expected to include a long-awaited announcement on a new generation of garden cities, including details of proposed locations as well as final approval of new road schemes, said CPRE.

"We are urging the chancellor to make sure that 21st century garden cities do not repeat the last Government’s eco-towns disaster and to recognise that transport investment should promote long term prosperity."

Director of policy Neil Sinden said: "We agree there is a need to build many more homes in England. The planning system should ensure new development prioritises the use of brownfield sites close to existing services.

"Government should learn the lessons from the previous ill-fated attempts to impose greenfield eco-towns on communities and bypass the checks and balances of the local plan-led system."

Sinden added: "The budget also needs to avoid promoting outdated road schemes that would have a devastating cost to the countryside while being ineffective at securing jobs."

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