St Modwen and the Bird Group welcomed a positive assessment of their plans for the Long Marston site by government officials.

The development was given a grade B rating in the sustainability appraisal of the site. All prospective eco town sites were assessed on a scale ranging from A to C by sustainability experts Scott Wilson.

The B grading means the site might be a suitable location subject to meeting specific planning and design objectives, which pleased the developers.

St Modwen regional director John Dodds said: “The sustainability appraisal for Middle Quinton is very good news as it highlights many of the positive attributes of the site without introducing any insurmountable negative issues.

“The fact that it was carried out by respected independent consultants adds weight to the findings.”

Chairman of the Bird Group Tony Bird said: “We are very encouraged by the assessment of our proposals.

“The challenge to meet the very highest environmental performance standards, is one we relish.

“We have always expected those standards would and should apply to new communities that aspire to set benchmark standards in sustainable living.”