In a discussion into sustainable construction, Concrete Centre head of architecture and housing Guy Thompson said: "Eco-towns are bound to fail because they are not located in centres of employment."
The sentiment was echoed by Davis Langdon associate architect Alex Amato. "Eco suburbs are a better way of investing resources," he said.
MP Laurence Robertson, whose constituency includes the town of Tewkesbury which was severely flooded last summer, issued a tirade against government policy.
"There is too much building in flood risk areas, making matters worse," said Robertson.
"The [South West] regional spatial strategy proposes 2,000 homes in the area near the Walham sub-station. People seem to fail to grasp that losses are increased because of water displacement.
"The DEFRA select committee commissioned Sir Michael Pitt to write the 'Lessons Learned' report, but they have not learned lessons. The report is compromised by government guidelines for 3M new homes. Was Pitt not supposed to be learning the lessons?
"The Environment Agency is toothless. I submitted pictures to appeal the building on local land that had been flooded around the Walham sub station, but the Agency did not object to the application."