'Ebbsfleet garden city project needs extra £180m,' says Dartford MP
PUBLISHED: 10:05 11 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:12 11 November 2015
Gareth Johnson says funding for the project needs to double when the chancellor announces his spending review on November 25
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson says funding for the Ebbsfleet garden city project needs to double if it is to meet its targets.
Chancellor George Osborne pledged £200million to the project, which aims to provide 11,000 homes, back in 2014, but according to Mr Johnson, another £180million is needed for the garden city to deliver on its promises.
A target of building between 3,000 and 5,000 homes over the next five years was made last week by Michael Cassidy, chairman of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, which has full planning powers over the project.
Mr Johnson said: “I met with the chancellor last week to support and put my weight behind the bid that has been put in by the urban development corporation.
“It argues that if you want 5,000 homes over the next five years, you need £380million of infrastructure in place, because what we need is the right medical provisions, transport links and schools to make it a viable project.
“The chancellor has always been very responsive to it, and we’ll get an announcement soon as to what degree of support we will receive.
“It’s like a sliding scale: if we get the full £380million we will have all the houses with the right infrastructure to go with it, but there will simply be very little building done if the money isn’t made available.
“This started 14 years ago so it’s been long in the making but there have been very few houses built in the area. We need more housing but it’s not a case of doing that at any cost, suitable infrastructure needs to be in place as well.
“We don’t want a dormitory town of one large council estate, we want it to have the required facilities to function as a garden city.”
A decision will be made at the chancellor’s spending review, which is due on November 25.