Sustainable measures being proposed at an eco-town near Stratford-upon-Avon have been described as too costly by a report from Warwickshire County Council.
The Middle Quinton scheme, which proposes a 6,000-home development at Long Marston, has been put forward by regeneration specialist St Modwen and developer the Bird Group.
The plans have caused huge controversy and the county council’s cabinet has now approved a report for submission to the Government detailing its opposition to the proposals.
The report by Paul Galland, the county council’s strategic director for environment and economy, said: “The comprehensive introduction of eco-features, such as higher specification of insulation and onsite or local renewable micro-energy production, could add at least £20,000 to the average cost of each dwelling.”
The report also argues the cost of sustainable measures in the design of housing alongside new infrastructure costs for establishing services and transport links would push up costs significantly.
“The additional costs of infrastructure and eco-features would take the average house price in the district (£235,000 at mid-2007) to well over £300,000. A premium of this order would be a disincentive to both house-builders and first-time buyers, and unlikely to improve general housing affordability in south Warwickshire,” the report said.
The development is aiming to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level Six, which will mean additional costs, but potentially major energy-efficiency savings.
A spokesman for the Bird Group said: “We are puzzled by the figures and would be interested in the basis used for the calculation. Recent academic studies suggest that the costs to meet eco-homes Level 3 are approximately an extra 5 per cent more than the standard cost of a new-build. Achieving Level 4 results in an increase of 7.6 per cent and for Level 5, 9.3 per cent.
“We believe that the savings achieved in heating cost reductions should be a factor and recent experience illustrates that average annual heating bills can be reduced from £1,100 to nearer £100.”