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Locals will fail to stop plans for Eco Towns

This from law firm LG…

Fierce opposition from local campaigners to the Government’s proposals for Eco Towns in 15 shortlisted locations may delay the timetable but will almost certainly fail to stop the process, according to planning experts at LG, a leading business law firm.

“There may well be lots of skirmishes on this because a number of local authorities and residents’ groups could be vehemently opposed to eco towns being built in their area, but under the existing planning system the government has a host of weapons in its armoury and the Secretary of State has the final say on any challenge or appeal – so one way or another it’s hard to see how anything can stop the government getting its own way over eco towns,” commented Stephen Turnbull, planning parter at LG.

“Another important aspect is land ownership – since these new towns will occupy large areas of land possibly in fragmented ownership and it can’t be assumed that all landowners will be keen to sell, ” he continued. “Those who resist sale could be forced to by their local authority issuing a compulsory purchase order – and if the local authority is itself opposed, there are also other bodies who could do this. Although landowners can fight a CPO through the courts, the final decision rests with the Secretary of State, who is unlikely to refuse a CPO if to do so would prevent the eco town from proceeding.”

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