Monday, January 05, 2009

New report casts doubt on viability of Pennbury eco-town

I have written about the proposed Pennbury eco-town in Leicestershire from time to time. You will find them labelled "Stoughton" here as that is how the area is known to those of us who live here.

Yesterday's Sunday Telegraph reported that:

a leading consultancy on urban design and planning has damned the Pennbury scheme, submitted by the Co-operative supermarket and property group, as economically "unsustainable", "ambiguous" and "fundamentally weak".

The Halcrow Group, which was commissioned by four local authorities covering Leicester and the surrounding towns and villages to assess the Co-op's plans, said the new town was likely to produce fewer jobs than envisaged, would suffer from poor transport links and would be out of keeping in what is currently a rural setting.

The report also found:
  • The Co-op had produced no convincing evidence to support the assumption that 60 per cent of residents would be able to work in the town.
  • The planned location has poor transport links, making it unattractive for potential employers and businesses.
  • It is unclear from population projections whether there is in fact a need for so many new homes in the area.
  • There has been no survey of local environmental features such as ecology, landscape and cultural heritage.

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