Gordon Brown plans to build more than 100,000 carbon neutral homes to help first-time buyers get on to the property ladder.
Brown, who looks set to succeed Tony Blair when he resigns on June 27th, has outlined proposals to construct five eco towns on old industrial sites. A former army barracks at Oakington in Cambridgeshire is one site which was bought by English Partnerships for £100m. Councils will be invited to bid for the other four new towns. So far 40 have already expressed an interest.
The new homes will be exempt from stamp duty and energy will be supplied from sustainable sources, such as solar and wind power. Reports have suggested that the new towns will be modelled on the “green” developments launched by Prince Charles.
"I would say a home-owning, asset-owning, wealth-owning democracy is what would be in the interests of our country because everybody would have a stake in the country," said Brown.
Housing minister Yvette Cooper unveiled plans for a series of eco-towns earlier this year. In March, Cooper announced £2m of funding to develop them. Cooper said that the eco-towns would be part of the New Growth Points scheme – 45 towns and cities which were confirmed last October. According to the government, the scheme had the potential to deliver 100,000 new homes by 2016.