Gordon Brown’s plans for a generation of 10 new 'ecotowns' have been further undermined after their financial prospects were questioned for the first time by the government’s own advisers.

Only three of the proposals are sure to make a profit in the current property downturn, according to a viability study by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Some could need public subsidies of tens of millions of pounds to go ahead.

The Conservatives claimed the 270-page report – released by the department last week without any press release – was the 'final nail in the coffin' for the policy.

Financial Times