This morning the government announced which proposed Eco Towns were on the short list. Pennbury was not.
Pennbury was a proposed “eco town” of 15,000 houses by the Co-operative Group to be built on greenfield land on the East side of Leicestershire. It would have swamped local villages, created flooding problems, destroyed wildlife habitats and completely jammed all the local roads. Right from the beginning the Co-operative Group failed to discuss plans with local communities. There were two major problems with the scheme:-
- There is not the local infrustructure to support such a large development. The Co-operative Group failed to commit any money towards improving transport links, blaming the local councils for not “co-operating” and not “advancing solutions”, which completely ignored the fact that solutions would not be required if the proposed development was not being built.
- The Co-operative Group have been very hazy on detail. Sure they’ve produced some great artistic impressions of what life in Pennbury would look like. But have failed to say exactly where these homes will be built, exactly how many schools and surgeries and other community facilities would also be built, failed to commit to either building a local cottage hospital or providing money to expand existing hospitals in Leicestershire and failed to come up with any credible transport plans. The Co-operative Group have also been criticised for failing to explain how their overly optimistic job creation figures were arrived at.
I’ve never had a problem with new homes being built in the area. But new homes without transport and infrastructure was never credible and has rightly been rejected.