Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Urban planning

taken to Soviet-level gummint control:
Motorists living in Gordon Brown's futuristic green communities face fines for driving their cars out of town, under radical proposals being drawn up by ministers, The Times has learnt.

Residents of the largely pedestrianised eco-towns may also be expected to park their cars at the outskirts and walk or cycle to their homes, up to ten minutes away.

These are among possible ways being discussed with ministers to meet a government target to cut car use in eco-towns by half. Detailed planning proposals will be published next month, a senior Whitehall official said.

Hmmm, I wonder if they've got standards picked out for who gets to/has to live there?

The official emphasised that the rules would be adapted for more rural areas, where there was less public transport. “But outside Cambridge or near Stansted airport, for example, where there are strong transport links, you could be charged for driving out [of the eco-town],” the official said.

The proposals, which are also being discussed with developers, are part of a plan to cut carbon emissions within up to ten eco-towns to be built from 2013. They are also key to the Prime Minister's ambition to build three million new homes by 2020, 30 per cent of which will be affordable.

Catch that last bit? "30 per center of which will be affordable." Anyone else wonder just what that gets into?

A free minibus(i.e. "Paid for with your taxes but we'll call it 'free'") will tour round the high streets to shops, schools and GPs' surgeries and stop within five minutes' walk of every home. Residents will be able to consult in their homes an electronic board, which displays bus times and flashes an alert when one is approaching.
Cue electronic voice: "Hurry up, you slacker peasant, the bus is coming!"

Each town is expected to be carbon-neutral, but the Government has bowed to developers' concerns that the highest criteria (Level 6) for zero-carbon homes could add £30,000 to building costs. Caroline Flint, the Housing Minister, told The Times yesterday that, until 2016, the new homes could be built at the much lower Level 3, provided that this was balanced by other energy reducing measures. “We are in negotiations with developers and hope many of them will go further,” she said. Translation: Developer: "Are you fookin' crazy?!? That'll add 30k to the price, how many can afford that?" Flint: "Well, you can build at a lower level for the poor, but we HOPE(with threatening look) that you will do the higher level on at least some and eat the cost."

Other “eco-measures” include plans to install underground vacuum recycling, where residents have chutes for different types of waste, which is then automatically taken to a recyling centre on site. Solar panels and wind turbines will be used for power, as well as biomass boilers, fuelled by wood chips from the surrounding forests. Electric vehicles charged from shops and schools would also be encouraged.

The mind boggles, it really does.


Thud said...

we are getting into jet pack territory here...Britain's infrastructure is collapsing and they talk about vacuum disposal...dream on

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm no longer resident there;

it looks like it's going to get nasty before it improves.

John W. Whitworth said...

It will cost £200 to drive out of Weston Otmoor eco-town at peak times. And that is on to roads already blocked by traffic. The Weston Front point out that the traffic model for Weston Otmoor is completely unsustainable.