Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed plans for a new 'Garden City' in Kent with an initial 15,000 new homes.
In a tweet sent out ahead of this week's Budget, Mr Osborne said: “We’re going to invest £200m to support 15,000 new homes and create the first Garden City for almost 100 years in Ebbsfleet Kent."
Chancellor George Osborne on a visit to Kent
It is confirmation of a widely known plan for a huge expansion in Ebbsfleet but the treasury's public endorsement today will undoubtedly give the project important impetus.
The announcement was later welcomed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, seen as a rival to Mr Osborne for the future party leadership.
Boris Johnson has welcomed the Ebbsfleet city plan
He tweeted today: "Government plans for a garden city in Ebbsfleet in Kent with 15,000 homes is great news for London, for jobs & growth and for the UK economy."
Mr Osborne's announcement comes a month after former transport secretary Lord Adonis also gave the plan his backing.
Lord Adonis at Ebbsfleet International Station
The Labour peer heads the think tank Centre for London and speaking in February he hailed it as an “excellent location” and huge potential with the proposed development of the Paramount theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula.
The group's year-long review – entitled Go East: Unlocking the Potential of the Thames Estuary – also looked at why development has been stifled in the region.
Lord Adonis said: “Successive governments have long seen the development potential in the Thames Estuary.
“There is huge scope for new homes and infrastructure to transform the region into a thriving commercial and cultural centre, all the while easing the strain on housing.”