Azara Blog: Proposal for an alleged eco-town in Norfolk

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Date published: 2007/09/11

The BBC says:

A disused Norfolk airbase could be transformed into a £9bn eco-community combining homes, jobs, and a brand new broad, under proposals by a developer.

The vision for RAF Coltishall would make it a carbon-neutral settlement, developer Richard Davies has said.

The scheme could provide up to 10,000 homes and 2,000 jobs in a self-contained sustainable community.
Plans show the old runway turned into an island with luxury waterside homes, a lake containing a wind farm, a wetlands centre, nature boardwalks and a boatyard.

The scheme also includes calls for a spur road off the planned Norwich northern bypass, and an eco-friendly electric bus route to the city.
Mr Davies said: "We would like it to be an exemplary eco-settlement with a zero carbon footprint because it has to be economically and socially sustainable with renewable energy."
Mr Davies' plans will be sent to the government in time for an end of October deadline for eco-settlement schemes.

Eco-communities, dubbed Brown Towns, need to have 5,000-20,000 homes, a zero carbon output, 30-50% affordable housing, a good range of facilities and one exemplary area of environmental sustainability.

Every developer claims they are building "sustainable" communities, it is just part of the jargon one uses to pacify the urban planning elite. But it is largely meaningless terminology. Here specifically, why should an "eco" community have to have between 5000 and 20000 homes, why should it have 30%-50% so-called affordable housing, and shouldn't all new communities trivially be required to have "a good range of facilities"? These have nothing to do with any supposed environmental stewardship. And what does it mean to have "zero carbon output"? Are they ignoring the massive carbon emissions to build the housing in the first place? Are they ignoring the massive carbon emissions to maintain the housing for decades if not hundreds of years? Is it even really "zero carbon" in any weak (operational) sense? Will the residents just get in their cars and drive to work in Norwich (or wherever) just like everybody else? And according to the UK wind database, Norfolk is not a particularly good place for a wind farm, so why is that being trumpeted as a suitable technology for this development?

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