Newsflash: I’ve just been told that Tesco is withdrawing plans for an ecotown at Hanley Grange, near Cambridge.
We ran the story last week that the wheels were falling off the ecotown project, with three having withdrawn, one having been cut from 15,000 homes to 5,000 and another three – including Hanley Grange – running into difficulties.
After that article, a DCLG official called me to say that Hanley Grange was going fine, despite the fact that one major member of the consortium, Wellcome Trust, had dropped out of the scheme.
Now it seems that Tesco, the remaining landlowner, has some reservations about the way in which the government is bulldozing local authorities to get its new conurbations built. It still wants to do the project, but in a more conciliatory way.
TESCO STATEMENT ON HANLEY GRANGE ECO TOWN PROPOSAL:
“Tesco put forward a strong proposal for an environmentally-leading mixed-use development at Hanley Grange through the Government’s Eco Town initiative – combining housing, employment and cutting-edge environmental technology.
The site was shortlisted as one of 15 out of an original list of 57 sites, and we think the proposal had very good prospects of succeeding under the Government’s Eco Town initiative.
However, we recognise that a proposal of this type has implications not only for the local area, but for the region. We also believe that a genuinely sustainable community stands
the best chance of being delivered successfully if a broad range of stakeholders in the region feel that they have been fully engaged in the process leading up to a decision.
We believe this is most likely to be achieved through a review of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), which involves a wide range of organisations and interest groups in the region.
We look forward to setting out our plans for a sustainable community at Hanley Grange through the RSS process, and to engaging on the broad range of views that will be expressed through that process.”
There’s more on this website.