Author Jilly Cooper has said plans for eco-towns in rural areas were “simply no way” to address environmental problems.
The writer and countryside-campaigner has joined a protest backed by actors Dame Judi Dench and John Nettles and racing driver Johnny Herbert against a proposed eco-town near Stratford-upon-Avon.
And she warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown to listen to the views of local people campaigning against plans for the new environmentally-friendly developments in their area.
She accused the Government of “arrogance” and deriding reasoned opinion in their proposals to build up to 10 new settlements, mostly in rural areas.
Earlier this year, the Department for Communities and Local Government unveiled a shortlist of 15 bids which would be zero-carbon overall and an “exemplar” in one area of environmental practice.
The final successful developments will be selected later this year, but many of the sites have proved controversial with local communities, who fear they will put a strain on existing services and spoil the local environment.
The writer said: “There’s no doubt we should all modify our behaviour to reduce our carbon footprint, but you don’t need to dump eco-towns in rural areas up and down the country to effect this change.
“That smacks of a clunking fist when gentle prodding would suffice.”
She went on: “Preserving Britain’s countryside should matter to us all - urban and rural dweller alike.
“Smothering it with more roads, rail-links, tramways, guided buses, incinerators and the like is simply no way to address this planet’s eco-concerns.
“Furthermore, dumping thousands of people such as key workers and low-income families into brand new towns, miles away from their roots and support networks, is no way to build sustainable communities.”
While acknowledging the Bard campaign against the Middle Quinton development at Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, was focused on an eco-town in her “back yard”, she said shouting “nimby” at protesters was a simplistic response to an important issue.
The author of blockbusters such as Riders, Polo and The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, which are set largely in the Cotswolds, said she believed in protecting Stratford, the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
She spoke out ahead of a protest on Monday by Bard campaigners and representatives of nine other groups which are against eco-towns in their area.
The groups are gathering in Westminster to hand over a petition to Downing Street with more than 11,000 names.