Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:16 UK

Plans for 5,000 clay pit houses

Aerial image of Baal Pit
The shortlist will be reduced to 10 in the next six months

Plans to redevelop six areas of Cornwall's china clay country and build 5,000 homes have been unveiled by china clay company Imerys.

Imerys want to build at six locations: Par Docks, Bugle, Nanpean, West Carclaze, Baal and Blackpool clay pit.

The Clay Country Vision regeneration programme is the company's bid to build one of 10 so-called eco towns proposed by the government last week.

The sites for the eco-towns will be finalised in the next six months.

'Dispersed approach'

Imerys China Clay Community, near St Austell, is among 15 sites the Department for Communities and Local Government has shortlisted.

It is the only shortlisted project in the South West.

But only 10 of the low-carbon, environmentally-friendly towns will eventually get the go-ahead.

If successful, the company hopes the project, which will be built over a 20-year period, will create new jobs, renewable energy and leisure activities in some of the county's most deprived areas.

Aerial image of Blackpool Dryer site with Blackpool Pit in the distance
The Imerys scheme is the only shortlisted project in the South West

There are plans for two new primary schools and the construction of a marina, complete with cafes and shops, in Par.

Ministers said the settlements would have to pass the highest environmental standards - but critics have claimed they could damage existing communities.

They have voiced concerns about an increase in the volume of traffic and pressure on the county's infrastructure.

Mike Mortimer, from Bugle, said: "Actually, we want a bigger school before we build any more houses.

He added that it was not certain that any new homes could be bought by local people.

He said: "If we build more houses, Cornish people won't get them. It will be people from over the border who will come and buy them."

Imerys said the scheme included plans for many affordable homes.

The plans include improved rail and road links, plus new walk and cycle ways.

The company added: "The vision will change the face of china clay country; restoring and regenerating the area with potentially 5,000 energy efficient homes being built, extensive new business and leisure opportunities being developed and renewable energy and green travel routes proposed; a dispersed approach to a new eco town in the heart of Cornwall."

'Vision' makes eco town shortlist
03 Apr 08 |  Cornwall
'Eco-town' plans: Site-by-site
03 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Three 'eco-town' sites rejected
02 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Protest over plans for eco-town
22 Mar 08 |  North Yorkshire
Eco-town battle moves to streets
08 Mar 08 |  Leicestershire

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