Ebbsfleet Garden City masterplan to be unveiled this weekend at public exhibitions

The public will get their first peek of the masterplan for a new garden city in the county this weekend.

Detailed proposals for a community in Ebbsfleet will go on show officially for the first time at Millbrook Garden Centre in Northfleet on Saturday.

In July, Kent Business exclusively revealed drafts of the masterplan, showing the garden city will include a centre with 4,000 homes and a rapid transport link between Bluewater and Ebbsfleet International station.

Ebbsfleet garden city is under construction, with Swanscombe to the north
Ebbsfleet garden city is under construction, with Swanscombe to the north

The documents also showed the project has been divided into four key development areas and will deliver 5,100 homes by April 2021.

The zones – Ebbsfleet Central, Northfleet Riverfront, Eastern Quarry and Swanscombe – will create a place “with strong environmental credentials and a strong city-centre feel to it”, according to Paul Spooner, the boss of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC).

It also commits to building 10,964 homes by April 2026. Only 400 homes were built in the 20 years to 2015.

People will be able to talk to members of the team at the EDC, which has powers to give planning permission for the garden city.

Landowners and housebuilders will also be on hand to talk about their proposals.

Under the draft seen in July, the plans are due to show Ebbsfleet Central as the heart of the new garden city and its economic hub, featuring 4,000 homes, including 1,000 starter homes, and 4.3m sq ft of commercial development.

The Ebbsfleet masterplan
The Ebbsfleet masterplan

The Eastern Quarry will create the most homes – about 4,750 – with a masterplan for this already agreed with developers and construction due to start in April.

Northfleet Riverside, about five minutes from Ebbsfleet Central, will be two new mixed-use, high-density neighbourhoods on the Thames.

The Swanscombe area on the masterplan will be a major employment source for the city, with London Paramount entertainment resort working on a planning application for a £3.2 billion theme park and hotels that it says will create 27,000 jobs.

It will also feature 200 to 400 homes under the EDC’s plans.

Last year, the Government gave the body the power to offer discounted business rates to companies setting up offices in the garden city as part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone, equivalent to a £350,000 grant for each firm.

It is predicted the status could help the area create 9,900 jobs by 2027 in about 230,000sq m of warehousing and offices.

Companies will have until March 2022 to apply for the full five-year entitlement.

The Ebbsfleet Garden City masterplan will go on show at Millbrook Garden Centre from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, October 1.

It will also be on display at the Observatory in Swanscombe on Thursday, October 6, from 4pm to 7pm.

It is at Swanscombe and Greenhithe town council hall on Saturday, October 8, from 10am to 2pm, Ebbsfleet International Station on Wednesday, October 19, from 4pm to 7pm and Northfleet Veterans Club on Saturday, October 29, from 10am to 2pm.

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