Friday, 19 September 2008

Eco-town decision delayed

It looks as if the government's department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) is going to be late with another of its headline announcements, this time on eco-towns.

CLG had promised to publish two key papers this month, a draft planning policy statement and a sustainability assessment of the remaining eco-town bids. But a source has told me that they will not be published until early October - after the Conservative conference - at the earliest. A CLG spokesman has told me that "we have no date for the announcement but it will be at some stage in the coming few weeks", which translates as don't hold your breath.

My source suggests that the delay is caused by a desire to make the papers as robust as possible, given the threat of court challenges. Last week, the BARD campaign won the right to take the whole eco-town process to judicial review.

The "September" announcement has already been downgraded after it became clear that the actual selection of eco-town bids will not happen until early next year - or is that sometime next year?

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