Eco-Town: For and Against
The Co-operative Group are putting forward plans to build up to 15,000 houses on land around Stoughton. Read on to find out about the arguments in favour of the proposed eco-town and those against it.
Since the announcement that the proposed Leicestershire eco-town is on the government shortlist, there have been many questions about what it could look like and what it could mean for the county.
The Co-operative Group are proposing to build up to 15,000 houses on land around Stoughton, to the south of Leicester.
But what exactly is an eco-town?
Listen: What is an eco-town?
BBC Leicester's Helen Astle went to find out more about eco-towns...
Worcestershire is famous for its eco-housing, and so Helen went to speak to the residents of Redditch.
An eco-house looks different from a normal home as it's made of wood and some are painted red, and others white.
The windows are bigger and some houses have solar panels on their roofs.
Cutting energy bills in half
Helen O'Brien has lived in her eco-house in Redditch for 12 months. She says that worrying about energy bills is a thing of the past:
Solar panels on an eco-house
"Roughly all my bills have cut in half, literally. My gas bill, which was about £600-£700 has gone down to £350.
"My electric bill has gone from about £500 to £250 and my water bill is also cut by half."
There are 400 people on the waiting list for each eco-house in Redditch, and the residents say that everyone who comes to visit is very impressed.
So why are some people against the Leicestershire eco-town?
Listen: Arguments against the eco-town
BBC Leicester's Helen Astle went to the villages near the proposed site to speak to people who would be affected...
Peter Buckingham is an estate agent for Andrew Granger and Partners, which is based in Market Harborough.
He says it's unusual for an estate agent to be against development, but he is opposed to the eco-town:
"I rate the affected villages as the most picturesque within Leicestershire, and I don't think the area could support 15,000 new houses."
Houghton on the Hill is one of the villages near the proposed site for the eco-town.
Schoolchildren in the village are opposed to the development and so is Lucy Stone, who's lived in Houghton for two years:
"I'm very against the eco-town because I feel that once they've removed the countryside it's gone forever. You can't replace that environment."
Campaign Against Stoughton Co-Op Eco-Town
There are posters on lampposts and placards in gardens around Houghton against the eco-town.
Local councillor and anti eco-town campaigner, Simon Galton, says there's no local support for the development:
"The local community has really risen up against this and through the campaign group we've held a range of demonstrations."
Listen: Arguments in favour of the eco-town
BBC Leicester's Helen Astle spoke to people in favour of the plans and the Co-Operative Group...
Rachel Roote is backing the plans. She says people have to think about the future:
"Society is changing a lot, yes, and we've got to look forward and we've got to think of our grandchildren's society, we've got to build a better base for them.
Modern, timber-framed houses
"They're providing allotments, they're providing sustainable energy, transport - what better life is there?"
Around 80,000 new homes are needed for Leicestershire, and the Co-Operative Group say that the eco-town would mean, "efficient, economic and environmentally friendly houses".
Graham Ramsbottom is from the Co-Operative Group:
"It's about a new way of living and addressing some of the challenges we face...
"It will be a fantastic place to live, I'm sure of that, but we think it will improve the wider area as well, and bring benefits to the surrounding areas."
last updated: 13/06/2008 at 17:11