Kent regeneration chiefs ‘waiting to hear’ what impact Lord Heseltine sacking will have on Thames Estuary plans

PUBLISHED: 14:35 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 13 March 2017

Lord Michael Heseltine who has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May's handling of Brexit which he said has left a huge number of Tories feeling

Lord Michael Heseltine who has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May's handling of Brexit which he said has left a huge number of Tories feeling "appalled and betrayed". Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Tory peer was axed as a government adviser last week for rebelling over Brexit

Regeneration chiefs at Kent County Council admit they are still “waiting to hear” what impact Lord Michael Heseltine’s sacking last week will have on plans for growth in the Thames Estuary.

The Tory peer was axed as a government adviser for rebelling over Brexit but his position as chairman of the Thames Estuary Growth Commission has remained unclear.

The commission was launched 12 months ago to develop an ambitious vision and delivery plan for north Kent, south Essex and east London up to 2050.

In Kent, the area covers most of the districts of Dartford, Gravesham, Swale, Canterbury and Thanet.

Last month, mayor of London Sadiq Khan and economic champions, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, wrote to Lord Heseltine proposing, among other projects, a visual arts training academy at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.

Bosses said they wanted to create “a world-class creative industries district” in the estuary region.

However, there appears to still be uncertainty as to whether the plans are still deliverable following Lord Heseltine’s departure.

Responding when quizzed at a KCC cabinet committee on Monday, the council’s corporate director for growth, environment and transport, Barbara Cooper said: “The commission is still there which did invite people from the private and public sectors to join Lord Heseltine on that commission.

“I’m assuming that the commission’s work, hopefully, will not be dropped because they’ve done a lot of visits to London, south Essex and north Kent.

“We are waiting to hear.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government is yet to respond for comment.

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