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Assessing case to bring Crossrail to Ebbsfleet Garden City 'a priority' for Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission says new chairman

By Chris Price

The new chairman of a commission tasked with growing the economy of north Kent has said assessing the case to bring Crossrail to the county is a priority.

Sir John Armitt has taken charge of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission previously led by Lord Heseltine.

The former Deputy Prime Minister was sacked as a government advisor last March by the Prime Minister after rebelling over Brexit.

Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission chairman Sir John Armitt, right, is shown plans for Ebbsfleet Garden City by development corporation chief executive Ian Piper
Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission chairman Sir John Armitt, right, is shown plans for Ebbsfleet Garden City by development corporation chief executive Ian Piper

His successor Sir John has committed to assessing the case for Crossrail to be extended to Ebbsfleet Garden City.

At present, Abbey Wood will be the most easterly stop on the route connecting east and west London, due to open later this year.

On the day of his appointment in November, Sir John was shown the plans for the garden city by Ian Piper, interim chief executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, which is in charge of approving planning for up to 15,000 homes in the area.

Sir John said: “I welcome the opportunity to lead this vital piece of work.

“I look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to produce a compelling vision and delivery plan for this exciting area, which I believe can help drive the UK’s economic growth.”

Crossrail is due to open this year
Crossrail is due to open this year

The commission’s priorities will be on improving connectivity from communities along the Thames Estuary to London and elsewhere, plus improving important business sectors.

It will also make sure high quality housing is available for people in the area.

Sir John is former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, which built infrastructure and venues for London 2012.

He is joined by deputy chair Professor Sadie Morgan, co-founding director at the award-winning practice, dRMM Architects.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It’s long been known that the Thames Estuary has vast economic potential and, as a government, we’re determined to capitalise on this for the benefit of local communities and national growth.

“The commission, benefitting from refreshed leadership, will now build on its vision to unleash growth and boost productivity.”

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