The government is in danger of trying to get “new towns on the cheap” by trying to push the funding for infrastructure onto developers, according to the new chief executive of the British Urban Regeneration Association.

Michael Ward said the government had yet to recognise the impact the credit crunch was likely to have on the financing of growth areas and eco-towns.

He said: “There’s a danger that we’re trying to get new towns on the cheap. It’s the same with eco-towns. The government has to be honest about the fact that some schemes are not viable in the current market given the environmental standards and infrastructure contributions that it wants.”