Charles up for new ecotown

Prince Charles has joined a consortium to build an ecotown near Nottingham.

Prince Charles’ Foundation for the Built Environment has been asked to advise on design for the 5,000 house scheme and will try to ensure community involvement for the project.

The crown estate – which manages royal property and gives its revenue to the Treasury – has joined up with the Ministry of Defence and Newton Nottingham LLP to develop property around the former RAF base at Newton, near Bingham in Nottinghamshire as part of the government’s ecotown scheme.

The Nottingham site replaces the originally intended site in nearby Kingston-on-Soar after its suitability was doubted by officials.

However, details of the plans are unclear at this stage because developers say they want to consult with the local community before any work goes ahead.

Hank Dittmar, chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, said: “We would be looking for a genuine mix of types of homes, jobs and amenities, such that everyday needs could be met within a five-minute walk.

“We’re interested in evolving vernacular building traditions – by which we mean building methods and materials that are synonymous with a particular area – to meet 21st century challenges of post peak oil, climate change and population growth.”

Charles has previously been involved in development of “more sustainable” communities, having set up the Poundbury community in Dorset a decade ago, and is currently helping develop a 12,000-population town in Wales.