Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

City unveils green housing plans

Eco-friendly solar panels will be built on thousands of new homes in Leicester if the development is approved, planners have said.

A consultation has started into the Ashton Green development for 3,500 homes between Anstey and Birstall.

It would also include affordable homes and a sustainable transport network, council project manager Geoff Mee said.

The draft masterplan for the project is now on display in Beaumont Leys as part of the consultation process.

Carbon neutral

Mr Mee described the 130-hectare site as "an exciting development" but added this consultation was "the start of a long process" that could take 15 to 20 years to complete.

The council said it was committed to maximising brownfield sites - land which has already been developed - but will still need Ashton Green to meet the city's housing shortage.

When a developer is chosen, it will be asked to build a carbon neutral urban village with well insulated homes fitted with solar water heating.

All facilities are to be provided within a specified walking distance to minimise transport needs.

An outline planning application will be sent to Leicester City Council by early next year.

It is estimated that Leicester will need more than 20,000 new homes within 20 years.



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