The prospect of a development corporation being formed to help unlock £200m of government support plus private sector millions to deliver the Ebbsfleet Garden City, has moved closer.
DCLG has announced the start of a public consultation on the creation of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and the appointment of a chairman designate.
The consultation runs until 6 October on a development corporation for Ebbsfleet, specifically the area in which it will operate (provisionally Ebbsfleet, Northfleet and Swanscombe), the planning powers it will be granted and the composition of the board.
DCLG has also named Michael Cassidy, CBE, chairman designate to head up the corporation. He is currently chairman of the City of London Property Investment Board, and non-executive director of Crossrail. He recently retired from DLA Piper and has experience in a wide range of business and industry sectors.
The respective local authorities – Kent County Council, Dartford Borough Council and Gravesham Borough Council – have all welcomed the announcement, recognising the benefits development can bring to residents of the area in the form of new homes, jobs and infrastructure.
The government hopes that as a statutory body reporting to Eric Pickles, the development corporation will be better placed to respond to the unique needs of its area. Working closely with local authorities, DCLG suggests it can provide the direction, focus, expertise and resources to deliver an ambitious new development to meet the needs of both residents and businesses.
Importantly, the consultation will not cover the development itself as this will be for the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to take forward in consultation with local partners. It is also not connected with other consultations being carried out on the proposed London Paramount resort and leisure development.
The consultation document recognises that the Ebbsfleet, Northfleet and Swanscombe area “has huge potential to create not only new homes, but also a vibrant and cohesive place where people will want to live and work”.
Key sites that would come under the new development corporation would include: Eastern Quarry, Swanscombe Peninsula and Springhead Quarter, all currently identified in the core strategies and local plans of Dartford and Gravesham borough councils.
Details of the consultation can be found here.