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PLANS FOR 20 TOWNS THREATEN GREEN SITES

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Thousands of acres of greenfield sites are to be concreted to make way for 20 new towns and dozens of housing estat...
Thousands of acres of greenfield sites are to be concreted to make way for 20 new towns and dozens of housing estates under plans being drawn up by local authorities, according to The Sunday Times (p2). The plans will hit the south east of England particularly hard with settlements springing up across Sussex, Surrey and Essex.

Earlier this year John Prescott said no more than 40% of the five million new homes needed in Britain by 2016 should be built on greenfield sites. Planning bodies across England have said the target is impossible to meet. This week those in the south east will take the first steps to open defiance when they meet to consider detailed documents which conclude new towns are the only way of meeting projected demand.

One document produced by the South East Regional Planning Committee (Serplan) warns that the towns will eventually have populations exceeding 100,000.

Developers have already proposed a new town outside Cambridge which would provide homes for at least 50,000 people. There have also been proposals for two settlements in Devon, a 10,000-home development between Ripon and Thirsk, North Yorkshire, a new town in Warwickshire, and a new town with 7,000 homes in Hampshire.
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