Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 13:41 UK

Legal challenge to eco-town plans

Plans being demonstrated
People toured the proposed site at the weekend

A campaign group opposed to a proposed eco-town in Warwickshire has begun a legal challenge against the government.

The Better Accessible Responsible Development (Bard) group is opposed to 6,000 new homes near Long Marston.

Bard has applied for a judicial review of the government's eco-town process, claiming the programme is "unlawful" and lacks "adequate consultation".

A Communities and Local Government spokesman said it did not believe there was any basis for a legal challenge.

Ministers say the towns would be low energy, carbon-neutral developments.

The government also said the 10 sites, which are set to be chosen within six months, will help provide affordable housing.

'No decisions taken'

In its judicial review application, Bard called for the ex-Army site near Long Marston to be "quashed" as a short-listed eco-town site.

It also said the government's programme should only go ahead after "proper and full consultation" on a number of factors, including the merits of the eco-town concept.

The CLG spokesman added: "No decisions have been taken on which eco-towns will proceed, an intensive local consultation process is underway and any bids that do go forward will be subject to a sustainability assessment and the full local planning process.

"Given the clear and transparent process set-out and the fact we are still at this early stage, it's hard to understand what this group is trying to judicially review."

A judge is now set to decide if the campaign group has an arguable case and can proceed to a full hearing.

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Guardian Unlimited Eco-town plans attacked over public transport links - 23 Jun 2008

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