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Four eco-town projects to go-ahead in 'first wave'

The Government has today announced plans to progress with four eco-town schemes across England.

The successful bids – which will still have to obtain planning approval – were named as Rackheath in Norfolk, Whitehill Bordon in East Hampshire, north west Bicester and the China Clay Community scheme near St Austell, Cornwall.

Government officials today said that all four projects were supported by local authorities and met the standards for an “eco-town”.

Housing minister John Healey said that a further two projects - Rossington in South Yorkshire and North-East Elsenham in Essex - still had the potential to be eco-towns, but required more work to iron out certain issues with the bids.

The four “first-wave” settlements will be able to bid for a share of £60 million in Government support for local infrastructure.

Mr Healey said he wanted to see at least six “second-wave” developments. He said up to £5 million was being made available for councils to conduct further planning work on proposals.