Eco-town campaigners celebrate victory

Local campaigners met up on Friday afternoon (17 July) to celebrate the Government’s decision not to include Ford on the final shortlist of eco-towns.

The Government announced on Thursday (16 July) the locations of four eco-towns that will proceed to the next stage, but confirmed that Ford had failed to demonstrate ‘the potential to meet the sustainability and deliverability requirements for successful development as an eco-town'.

Campaigners from Communities Against Ford Eco-Town (CAFE) were joined at the celebration by West Sussex MPs Nick Herbert (Arundel and South Downs) and Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton).

In an informal speech, Mr Herbert paid tribute to everyone who had supported the campaign but reserved special praise for the contributions made by CAFE Chairman Vicky Newman, Derek Waller and former Chairman Terry Knott.

The MP said the success of the campaign run by CAFE filled him with an "enormous sense of pride" for the people of West Sussex. 

Mr Herbert said CAFE had run a model campaign which combined real community engagement and "people power" with a level of serious and sophisticated argument that had proved too difficult for the developers and the Government to overcome.  Mr Herbert said that the campaign had been based not just on "noise" but on substance.

On behalf of CAFE, Mrs Newman thanked Mr Herbert and Mr Gibb for their active support for the campaign both locally and in Parliament.



Notes for Editors

1. For the website of Communities Against Ford Eco-Town (CAFE), visit

2. For the campaign blog, visit

3. CAFE can be contacted at PO Box 123, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 8BF, telephone 07721 300330 or e-mail Its Patron is the Duke of Norfolk.

4. The photograph shows campaigners and MPs Nick Herbert and Nick Gibb celebrating the decision not to include Ford on the shortlist of eco-towns.

Christopher N Howarth