It would be surprising if developments of the scale of new towns were not the subject of debate and controversy, but your article on eco-towns (19 December, page 19) fails to do justice to the scale of the ambition behind the programme.

The draft planning policy statement for these exemplar developments sets out standards for sociable and environmentally sustainable communities – the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) says they set the highest planning policy standards to date.

The TCPA and a range of other independent voluntary bodies are committed to seeing the highest standards achieved in this programme, the urgency of which is demonstrated by the continuing challenge presented by climate change and the threats it poses to settlements everywhere.

Gideon Amos, chief executive, TCPA