Howarth accuses Government of "eco-town gimmick"

November 5, 2008 10:58 AM

David HowarthAs the Government launched the second round of its eco-town consultation yesterday (Wednesday), Cambridge MP David Howarth demanded it lay down proper environmental standards for all new developments.

He accused Labour of using its eco-towns policy to hide its failure to ensure all new building meets better standards.

"Allowing eco-town homes to get away with just Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes makes a mockery of their environmental claims," said Mr Howarth. "The Government must abandon this eco-gimmick and set tough environmental standards for all new homes and developments."

Mr Howarth spoke out as the second round of the consultation was launched by Housing Minister Margaret Beckett.

"Ministers are using their eco-towns policy to hide their failure to demand proper environmental standards from all new developments," he said.

Mr Howarth celebrated victory when the new Planning and Energy Bill became law recently after he had fought for local control to ensure better standards of energy efficiency in new homes.

The Bill allows local councils to set energy efficiency rules stricter than those of national government.

But Mr Howarth urged the Government to go further and demand stricter national environmental standards for all new developments.

"The Government has a duty to ensure that all developments adhere to a strict set of guidelines to protect the environment and cut carbon emissions," he said. "The Government needs to act now to show it is serious in improving the environmental standards of all building taking place in this country and stop pursuing this eco-town gimmick."

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