The first phase of proposed eco-towns in the UK will receive £60m in government funding towards development activities.

A total of 600 homes will be built in the four eco-town sites in Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire, St Austell in Cornwall, Rackheath in Norfolk and North-West Bicester in Oxfordshire.

The sustainable developments are expected to encourage greener living. The homes will be equipped with low carbon technology systems such as smart meters, electric car charging points and rainwater harvesting and composting systems.

The funding will be used to improve existing transport links, and encourage renewable energy projects and low-carbon schools.

The homes should also achieve level four of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Most homes can be bought upon completion, but some will be permanent eco-show homes, according to