Growth depends on infrastructure developments
The coalition’s hopes for economic recovery increasingly
lie on the shoulders of infrastructure developers and Kent is at
the forefront of the push to develop our way out of the
News of the £2bn Paramount Leisure Park project in Ebbsfleet,
with its accompanying 27,000 jobs, could transform the area’s
The £650m planned development at Chatham Waters, the 5,750
housing development submitted for South Ashford, the regeneration
of Folkestone Harbour and the plans to develop Dreamland in Margate
all point to the fact developers are starting to come back.
The Government has revealed plans to stimulate development
Regulations will be relaxed, applications fast-tracked and first
time buyers offered support. This is good news for developers, who
need a more favourable planning system and better access to
But how will these proposals fit in with the Localism Act? The
watchword for the Coalition’s policy needs to be balance.
Stimulating the economy will benefit everyone and developers can
be the economy’s knight on the white horse.
But, in these parts, the white horse also symbolises Kent and
its countryside. Localism, local decision-making and protection of
the green belt must be upheld at the same time as economic progress
– but it shouldn’t be an impossible balance.
All the developers we work with encourage public consultation
What causes problems is the length of time planning authorities
take to make decisions.
By getting developers, the planning authority and local people
working together at the start of the project to speed up
decision-making, responsible development could be the answer to our