The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has advised landlords and property owners that eco-towns present a unique opportunity.

Guidance from the charity was sponsored by the government entitled Developing energy efficient and zero-carbon strategies for eco-towns.

It said that eco-towns must be carbon neutral and aim to be so through energy efficiency, on-site energy generation and connected heat.

Kate Henderson policy manager for the association said public buildings and spaces as well as homes would have to comply with the zero carbon goal in terms of emissions.

Anyone who will work with such communities should follow the guidance, as well and town developers and planners, TCPA stated.

The scale of the climate change challenge was brought to light by the UN Copenhagen Conference, it added.

Chief executive of the association Gideon Amos said: "Eco-towns must lead the way in supplying energy efficiently, promoting renewable energy generation and minimising energy consumption throughout the year."

In his pre-Budget report Alistair Darling announced that rewards will be offered to property owners who have energy saving devices such as solar panels installed in their homes.

An average payment of £900 per year could be made to property owners tax-free, he said.

Written by Claire DoyleADNFCR-2002-ID-19521343-ADNFCR

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