Press release

Local people at heart of growing Ebbsfleet Garden City

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles set out plans that put people at the heart of shaping the future development of the Ebbsfleet Garden City.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Mr Pickles invited people to share their views on the creation of the new development corporation that will work with local residents and businesses to grow the garden city in the way that is right for the local area.

The corporation will help local authorities to drive forward development, co-ordinate investment and solve the issues that have held Ebbsfleet back. It is proposed that it will also act as the local planning authority determining planning applications and will work with local councils to deliver affordable housing in line with local plans.

In a show of the government’s commitment to kick-starting the process of development at Ebbsfleet, Mr Pickles also announced the appointment of Michael Cassidy CBE as Chairman Designate of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation.

As the Chairman of the City of London Property Investment Board and with extensive experience in a range of roles across the business and industry sectors, Mr Cassidy will steer the development corporation, providing the focus and direction needed to deliver this ambitious development.

The area around Ebbsfleet has huge potential. With its large amounts of brownfield land and excellent transport links - less than 20 minutes from central London - it has long been identified as an ideal location for large scale development. Yet despite the ambitions for the Ebbsfleet area progress was stalled for decades. Plans started for a development of 22,000 homes across the Kent Thameside area. But after work continued to stall for nearly a decade in 2012 the government announced a new deal to secure investment in the local road network to support the proposed new homes.

This has resulted in plans for 15,000 homes in Ebbsfleet alone and, as well as setting up the development corporation the government is also making available up to £200 million of infrastructure funding available to kick start the work on the garden city.

Today’s consultation (11 August 2014) invites views on:

  • the geographical area in which the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation will operate
  • the planning powers it will be granted
  • the composition of its board

Unlocking growth, building homes

Ministers believe locally led development is one of the keys to unlocking growth, kick-starting infrastructure and getting more homes built. Ebbsfleet has the potential to be part of this new generation of well-designed development that will bring together high-quality homes, jobs, and green spaces in communities where people want to live and raise their children.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

Under the last administration progress at Ebbsfleet stalled and with it so too did the development of thousands of new homes for families. This government is unlocking that potential. With £200 million government backing and the set up of a development corporation to drive forward Ebbsfleet there is nothing to hold back plans on paper becoming real homes and communities.

Locally led development is the key to unlocking growth and creating the places and communities that people actively want to be a part of. Today I am pleased to appoint Michael Cassidy as Chairman of the development corporation that will work with local people to develop Ebbsfleet and grow the garden city in the way that is right for the local area.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said;

To create the UK’s first garden city for almost a 100 years will need drive, creativity and commercial savvy. Michael Cassidy has all of those qualities and I am delighted he will be leading the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation.

Chairman Designate of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation Michael Cassidy said:

The development at Ebbsfleet is an exciting prospect, finally bringing to life an area where progress has been slow for many years and delivering the high quality homes and jobs that local people need.

I look forward to working with local communities to create a place where people choose to live and lay down their roots.

Further information

The consultation paper published today by the Department for Communities and Local Government seeks views on:

  • the creation of a new statutory body, to be known as the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, to drive forward development at Ebbsfleet
  • the geographical area in which the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation will operate
  • the planning powers it will be granted
  • the composition of its Board

This public consultation will run from 11 August 2014 to 6 October 2014.

Subject to Parliamentary approval it is expected that the corporation will be established in early 2015. Once established, the corporation will develop and implement a business plan, working with local authorities, local communities.

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Published 11 August 2014