Finally, the financial realities of Gordon Brown's proposed "eco-towns" are coming to light. This weekend, the Department of Communities and Local Government announced that only two of their initial 10 planned eco-towns are still feasible.
Environmentally friendly communities and housing projects are both noble ideas in concept; however, eco-towns are simply a dangerous waste of money in the midst of the impending recession.
But, typical of Government, they refuse to admit that eco-towns are not viable in today’s economy, or at all. Private investors have backed out after accepting the realities of the financial crisis, people are screaming for relief from the real fear of losing their homes, and yet according to the Department for Communities and Local Government, the eco-town program is "still on track".
Not only are they going to cost outrageous amounts of money to develop and maintain, but (and previous TPA blogs have commented on; see Mike Denham on "The Crap Towns Of The Future" and Matt Sinclair on "Eco-town plans showcase politicians' ability to keep repeating their mistakes") they present real environmental costs to the areas that would be used for the communities (seems a bit counterintuitive doesn't it?). They would also likely be targets for regeneration sooner than other developments, creating further unnecessary costs in the future.
So add up all the costs and it hardly seems like a good return on their investment does it? Even green supporters are unlikely to move to these towns as high prices and inconvenient regulations would hamper their everyday lives. In a time of financial crisis when house prices are plummeting, people are moving into negative equity on their mortgages, and the government is spending BILLIONS to bail out the banks granting those mortgages, I simply don't understand how the government can have the cash to waste on eco-towns when strict responsible finance plans are imperative.
Doesn't Gordon Brown have more important initiatives to fumble without wasting even more money we don't have?