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EXCLUSIVE: Ebbsfleet Garden City delayed by lack of cash

PUBLISHED: 09:05 05 March 2015

Ebbsfleet Valley (credit: Land Securities)

Ebbsfleet Valley (credit: Land Securities)

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Government must stump up funds if developers can't, council leader says

Ebbsfleet Garden City is not progressing as fast as it should because not enough money is being provided for schools, roads and other facilities, according one of the most prominent people involved with the development.

Gravesham Borough Council leader John Burden says development is being held back because neither developers nor the government are stumping up the cash needed to build the necessary facilities.

Cllr Burden said: “It is not full steam.

“To unlock some of the issues is perhaps more complicated than people think.

“The development at Springhead Park in Northfleet is at a standstill because we are waiting to resolve an issue between the landowner, the developers and the government.

“There is a need for a school and a bridge to link the development to Ebbsfleet station, and there is a debate going on as to whether the developer can afford to do that.”

But he says that if the developers don’t build the facilities, then all sorts of other problems ensue.

“There is a reluctance among developers to build anything that they don’t need to,” Cllr Burden said.

“But if they don’t build these things, local people will have to pay more rates to put the infrastructure in.

“It is not always the developers’ fault. They have banks they have to answer to – they can’t go bankrupt. They are building at risk.

“If we want them to clear up brownfield sites, the government has to put some money into this to make it happen. Some governments in Europe invest heavily in housing and infrastructure and we haven’t really been doing that.”

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