The British Property Federation has warned the government that it will need to avoid lengthy planning decisions if its plans for new eco towns are to be successful.

The government today announced the 15 location shortlist for eco-towns, but BPF chief executive Liz Peace said clear planning guidance is needed.

‘Key to getting the eco-towns off the ground will be the ability to fast track the planning consents required,’ she said. ‘Much of the detail as to how this will be done, however, remains sketchy and will need to be clarified in more detailed planning guidance.’

Peace said the BPF does broadly support the plans – but the government needs to keep its eye on the bigger picture.

Whilst these new towns will deliver a welcome 110,000 homes, their contribution to overall housing supply should not be overplayed.

‘The Government has a target to deliver 3 million homes by 2020, and on today’s figures eco-towns would deliver just three per cent of that.’

She also said she supports the plans to set up a panel of leading figures from the fields of climate change and sustainability, energy, planning, transport, and business.

The government has said it wants to build five eco-towns by 2016 and up to 10 by 2020 as part of ambitious plans to build 3 million homes by 2020.