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MP James Brokenshire visits Ebbsfleet Garden City development

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has emphasised the importance of building "high-quality homes for future generations" after a visit to Ebbsfleet's Garden City.

The MP, who represents Old Bexley and Sidcup, is keen to see 15,000 properties built on the site, which sits across the boundary between Gravesham and Dartford.

After visiting the Castle Hill development, Mr Brokenshire said he was "delighted to see the new homes" that have already been created.

L/R: Mark Bailey, managing director for David Wilson Homes Kent, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments
L/R: Mark Bailey, managing director for David Wilson Homes Kent, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire and David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments

A former quarry, it will boast more than 6,500 new houses when complete, with its own "village centre" and amenities.

Mr Brokenshire said: "Getting these homes built in Kent is all part of the government’s drive to deliver 300,000 new properties a year by the mid-2020s so more people can afford a place to call their own.

"As we work to build more, we must also ensure developers provide good quality properties."

Developer David Wilson Homes, which forms part of Barratt Developments, was recently awarded five stars in the Home Builders Federation (HBF) customer satisfaction survey.

It is the only major national housebuilder to receive a five-star rating 10 years in a row.

MP James Brokenshire with apprentices from David Wilson Homes
MP James Brokenshire with apprentices from David Wilson Homes
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire meets Lydia Elder and her son at Ebbsfleet Garden City
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire meets Lydia Elder and her son at Ebbsfleet Garden City

David Thomas, chief executive for Barratt Developments, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to our Castle Hill development in Ebbsfleet.

"Our five-star rating demonstrates how much we care about our customers and how committed we are to making them happy in their new home."

During his visit, Mr Brokenshire also met the Elder family, who bought one of the new properties at Castle Hill through the government-backed Help to Buy scheme.

Lydia and her husband, Pete, have two young sons, and say they were attracted to the area's countryside feel, while retaining a close proximity to the capital.

Plans to create a garden city at Ebbsfleet were originally announced by the government in 2014.

Made up predominantly of brownfield land, or former quarries, Ebbsfleet Valley falls within the parish of Swanscombe and Greenhithe, and forms part of the Thames Gateway.

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford


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