Labour peer says eco-town plans 'one of the biggest mistakes government could make'

Lord Rogers has launched a broadside against eco towns, calling them "one of the biggest mistakes government could make."

Richard Rogers

Speaking at a New London Architecture conference on density, the Labour peer slammed government plans to build 10 carbon neutral "eco-towns" before 2020.

He said: "I think eco-towns are one of the biggest mistakes government could make. Building in green areas for 5,000 to 10,000 people has to be car-based, it will not be a walking, living community. It goes against everything we know about sustainability."

Rogers said that he had been lobbying the government against eco towns. "Whether or not they'll change their direction I don't know, but I certainly hope so," he said.

Rogers, who chaired the government's Urban Task Force in the late 1990s, added that he was not opposed to building eco communities within existing towns.

The veteran architect also resumed his criticisms of the poor state of housing design in the Thames Gateway. He said: "It is due to the irresponsibility of the major house-builders, and the irresponsibility of government for not making decisions."