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£1.5bn eco town dream moves one step closer

Glasgow Evening Times

Dr Jim Arnold, Director of New Lanark, and Stuart Crawford, Trustee of the Hometown Foundation, will take their plan to Holyrood next week

People have been given a chance to have their say over a new £1.5 billion ‘eco town’ planned for South Lanarkshire.

Council chiefs have issued a consultation document for the self-sufficient settlement, Owenstown, which will determine the size and environmental impact of the proposed new town near Lanark.

It has been sent to local community councils, local authority departments, government agencies, service providers and other relevant parties.

Each organisation now has six weeks to respond ahead of a planning application being formally launched.
The eco town is planned for 2,000 acres of land south of Lanark, which will be home to 20,000 residents and create up to 8,000 jobs.

Stuart Crawford, a trustee of the Hometown Foundation, the charity behind the scheme said that response to the new town so far had been favourable.

He said: “The reaction to the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Most people thought it was the sort of place they would like to live and bring up a family.

“The council has asked the foundation to consider some key questions which need to be answered before the planning application is submitted. Things such as water and sewerage issues and infrastructure questions.”

The new eco town, named after Robert Owen the 19th century social reformer who helped establish the community at New Lanark, will use recycled waste to produce energy to centrally heat all the houses.

Green transport will also be used across the massive site, which will be powered by renewable energy sources such as wind power.

Once all representations have been received from the consultation South Lanarkshire Council will compile an environmental statement for the Hometown Foundation which will form part of the planning application.

Meanwhile, MSPs at Holyrood will next week be given the chance to study the project when they are briefed on its progress.
Mr Crawford added: “We’re delighted to be taking the details of the project direct to the politicians and we are looking forward to getting their reaction to this exciting development.”

A planning application for the scheme is expected to be lodged with South Lanarkshire Council early next year.