A high profile group of protestors threatens to scupper plans for a proposed eco-town near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. But the developers are fighting back

The developers of a proposed eco-town in Middle Quinton, Warwickshire, have brought in a specialist green PR agency in a bid to talk up the town’s eco-credentials.

The Middle Quinton development has become the focal point of the protests against eco-towns in general, with a well-resourced, dedicated group spearheaded by local billionaire magazine publisher Felix Dennis, and including Dame Judie Dench, the actress, and Jilly Cooper, the author, railing against it.

The group claims the eco-town is no greener than any other housing development, and says it will do more harm than good by clogging up local arterial roads and creating an eye-sore in what is traditional Shakespeare country greenbelt.

But Anthony Calvert, a spokesman for Green Issues, the firm brought in by developers, St Modwen and Bird Group, said the development was one of the greenest proposals in the country.

The Middle Quinton development has become the focal point of the protests against eco-towns

“The development is on brownfield land on an old MOD complex with ugly industrial buildings, not on greenbelt,” he said. He added that the transport infrastructure would be enhanced by re-establishing the defunct rail link between the proposed site at Long Marston and the main line to Stratford. And the site would create 3,000 new jobs in the area. “We think that covers all the bases.”

The site, which the developers believe will achieve a rating of 3 in the Code for Sustainable Homes, is one of a longlist of 15 which will be whittled down to 10 by the government as part of its flagship eco-towns proposal, this Autumn.

“We just hope the people who are going to make this decision will see through the puff and hubris,” said Calvert.