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Eco-town proposals 'fell short'

Terry Farrell and Partners’ plans for an eco-town in Oxfordshire “fell short of the mark”, a Government watchdog review has found.

The plans for Bicester were the first of four proposed eco-towns from the previous government, first unveiled in 2009.

Proposals were unveiled for 394 houses and an “eco-pub”, with the overall blueprint set to be launched later in 2011.

But the watchdog’s review of the scheme stated that it was “disappointing that the eco-credentials of the scheme are limited and that there is little deviation from the standard suburban housing model”.

The CABE review said the streets layout was “interesting” but criticised low housing density, adding that this “will militate against the principles of the EcoTowns Planning Policy Statement (PPS) principally greater resource efficiency and the reduction of car use”.

It added: “For the exemplar site, we would expect to see a proposal that captures the essential aspirations of an eco-town: the current proposals fall short of that mark.”

Developers P3Eco said: “The masterplan is in a state of continuing evolution having regard to a wide range of considerations including comments from CABE and others.”

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