Two New Eco-Town Guidance Documents Released by Britain’s Town & Country Planning Assocation


Two new documents published by Britain's Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), aim to give guidance to those invoved in planning for eco-towns. The publications are:

  • Developing energy efficient and zero carbon strategies for eco-towns
  • The Eco-towns Biodiversity worksheet, ‘biodiversity positive: eco-towns biodiversity worksheet

Both aim to promote the TCPA view that eco-towns must provide green solutions across the whole scope of the development, not just in terms of energy efficient buildings.

“Eco-towns present a unique opportunity to lay down low and zero carbon solutions across a whole new settlement and they must demonstrate how planning can make a significant and positive difference to controlling carbon emissions,” states TCPA Energy Policy Manager, Kate Henderson.

The eco-towns energy worksheet maintains that eco-towns as a whole must be zero carbon. The worksheet aligns with the Government’s definition of zero carbon being developed for new homes. This is based on a hierarchical approach to carbon saving through energy efficiency, on-site energy generation and connected heat as far as possible, backed up by near and off site allowable solutions.

In an eco-town however, unlike other developments, the zero carbon goal applies to emissions arising from energy use not just in homes, but also from all other buildings and public spaces across the town. The worksheet considers what that means and explores the principles of developing a zero carbon strategy for an eco-town. The guidance is intended not just for eco-town developers and planners, but also for all those who will manage the new settlements and work with the new communities.

The Energy Worksheet is the tenth eco-town Worksheet, following on from transport, community development, water cycle management, green infrastructure, economy, towards zero waste, inclusive design, housing and biodiversity Worksheets. The final Worksheet topic to be developed will be on eco-town delivery. Once they are all published, the Worksheets will together represent a comprehensive set of planning and policy advice on the range of subject areas to be addressed and the standards to be met when planning an eco-town.

These Worksheets are best practice guidance being made available as a resource for planning and designing eco-towns. The TCPA believes that only eco-town proposals that have the potential to meet the highest standards demanded should be given the go-ahead.


About the TCPA

The Town and Country Planning Association is England's oldest environmental charity. It was founded as the Garden Cities Association in 1899 by Ebenezer Howard, initially to promote the development of Garden Cities.

Today the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent charity working to improve the art and science of planning. The TCPA puts social justice and the environment at the heart of policy debate and inspires government, industry and campaigners to take a fresh perspective on major issues, including planning policy, housing, regeneration and climate change.


Posted December 2009