Wednesday, 16 July 2008

In Britain, plan for carbon-neutral ‘ecotowns’ draws rural ire

You’re the prime minister of a small, rich nation with a growing population, pressing space constraints, a chronic housing shortage, and a perennial need to be green. What do you do? Gordon Brown thinks he has the answer. In one of his boldest policies since he assumed power last year, the British premier is planning to build a cluster of completely new ultramodern “ecotowns” on sites dotted around the English countryside.

Windmills and solar power, biomass heating facilities, car-free streets, and subterranean recycling chutes will result in net carbon dioxide emissions of zero or less.

But the innovative plan is pitting urbanites’ vision of green utopia against the ire of rural England, whose residents are loath to let their pristine environs be despoiled. Read more here...

1 comment:

keithc said...

Interesting article.

I'm disappointed to see Kate Henderson of the TCPA using the transparent ... rural “haves” verses the urban “have-nots" ... argument.

This image lies at the heart of the "Nimby" insult that is being thrown around all too often; painting the image of rich,idle landowners sitting in their carefully manicured gardens, drinking Pimms and drawing up plans to stave off the invasion of their rural peace and quiet by hordes of the 'hoi poloi'!

The truth is, that the so-called rural "haves" struggle to pay their bills, feed and clothe their families and keep their(essential)cars on the road just like people who live in the towns.
The only difference is that they have chosen a rural life - with all its disadvantages!

The only rich landowners are the ones who are selling their land to facilitate the building of this monstrosity, thus making themselves considerably richer in the process!


..."A recent government survey found people supported ecotowns by a majority of 5 to 1, though that fell to 2 to 1 when people were asked if they’d like one on their own doorstep."...

If this survey is the only Joker left in the government's pack to drum up support, then they must surely be getting desperate.
Surely, expert opinion should carry more weight than such a transparent PR exercise?

It really is too late for Gordon Brown to start asking the public what they want.
He had that chance last November.