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Artificial islands similar to Dubai's Palm to be built on lake at Ebbsfleet Garden City

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A piece of Dubai could be coming to north Kent after an ambitious proposal to reclaim inaccessible land pipped rival bids.

HALO (Hives, Arcs, Links, Organics) won Ebbsfleet Garden City's international design competition and is now set to become a centre piece of the 15,000-home development.

A series of artificial islands resembling the Arab state's world famous Palm would be created in a 12 hectare-wide lake, which is currently out of reach to residents.

An artist's impression of HALO (4010204)
An artist's impression of HALO (4010204)

The project would see the area transformed into "an oasis" where residents will be able to grow and pick their own fruit and vegetables, visit an adventure playground or take part in sporting activities.

The island will be linked by walkways and one of them would become an arts and culture hub, where open air productions and gigs could take place.

Floating hotel pods and an innovation area for start-up businesses would also be included as well as Ebbsfleet’s very own beach.

While 'eco islands' would bring wildlife to the site, with series of insect hotels, bee hives and bat boxes installed.

Judges said HALO demonstrated exactly what they had hoped for — a design that was radical but achievable.

The HALO project from above (4010219)
The HALO project from above (4010219)

The panel was also draw to it because it reflected the founder of the garden city movement, Ebenezer Howard’s concept of the best of town and country life.

Managed by The Landscape Institute, on behalf of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and NHS England’s Healthy New Towns project, the second phase of the Ebbsfleet Design Challenge focused on Ebbsfleet's Blue Lake.

Now bosses at EDC will look at how it can be incorporated with six new city parks.

The HALO proposal in full (4010208)
The HALO proposal in full (4010208)

Director of Ebbsfleet’s healthy new towns project Kevin McGeough said: “This exciting and inspiring design exceeded our expectations. We have been encouraged by the innovation and the wide variety of approaches in this scheme.

“The winning design could become one of the country’s most talked about and visited attractions.”

As well as new homes, Ebbsfleet’s first primary school, Cherry Orchard, has already opened and the city has its first pub and hotel.

Work has also started on a bridge which will connect residents to Ebbsfleet International train station and cut down walking time from 25 minutes to eight, walk and cycle ways are also being created.

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