Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 10:34 UK

Residents to vote over eco-town

Plan of proposed town area

A vote is being organised to allow residents near a proposed 15,000-home eco-town in Leicestershire to have their say on the plans.

Thurnby and Bushby Parish Council will hold the unofficial poll over the development at Pennbury.

The results of the 5 June vote will be fed back to Harborough District Council along with the county council.

The Co-operative Group, behind the plans, said the sustainable community will not encroach on villages.

The company announced that the site, on a government shortlist of 15, will include land to grow vegetables for the local community, green open space for cycling and walking and wildlife habitats.

'Housing shortage'

Co-operative spokesman Graham Ramsbottom said: "We're at the start of a consultation period which runs until October and what we're doing over the next three weeks is starting to release a series of information to get people's feedback on what's important to them.

"There's a big shortage of housing in the UK. It's a national problem and we're proposing to bring forward 4,000 to 5,000 affordable houses on this site."

Councillor Simon Galton, a district and county councillor, said: "One of our major concerns is that the process isn't very democratic.

"Decisions are being made behind closed doors in London and a parish poll is a good way of expressing your views about this proposal.

"Although it won't affect the outcome - it is a very important step in the community having a say in this scheme."

The Co-operative Group is running series of five open days in the local area starting on 10 June to get feedback from residents.

Bishop raises 'eco-ghetto' fears
30 Apr 08 |  Leicestershire
Eco-town opponents stage protest
19 Apr 08 |  Leicestershire
'Eco-town' plans: Site-by-site
03 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Minister accepts housing tensions
29 Dec 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Plans unveiled for two eco-towns
20 Nov 07 |  Derbyshire

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