The eco-towns project suffered another setback yesterday, after Tesco pulled the plug on one of the most high-profile projects.

The supermarket chain withdrew its proposed development at Hanley Grange, near Cambridge, from the government scheme to approve new eco-towns, issuing a statement that acknowledged widespread local opposition.

Tesco said the eco-town had been a 'strong proposal' that had had 'very good prospects' of winning government support. But it noted pointedly that a development of this type 'stands the best chance of being delivered successfully if a broad range of stakeholders in the region feel they have been fully engaged in the process leading up to a decision'.

The supermarket chain said it would instead be pursuing plans to develop the site through the government’s Regional Spatial Strategy – its regional planning guidelines.

Financial Times