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Fears grow over Ebbsfleet Garden City as architect criticises build

PUBLISHED: 13:22 05 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:09 05 January 2016

A general view of the site for Ebbsfleet garden city, Dartford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

A general view of the site for Ebbsfleet garden city, Dartford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

So far 65 homes have been built

Following last months departure of the development CEO Robin Cooper, Ebbsfleet Garden City has come under fire, this time from architects.

The development plans received more than £300million of funding from chancellor George Osborne last year.

So far 65 homes have been built from the inital 15,000 set to be built.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, architect and former government adviser Richard Rogers has questioned the site’s location.

Mr Rogers said: “They shouldn’t be building down there. East London still has masses of brownfield land so why are we building 15 miles out?

“This is not a sustainable option.”

However Dartford MP Gareth Johnson believes there is still hope for the site.

He said: “Ebbsfleet Garden City can be a success. We are in the process of having a change in leadership with a new chief executive which will provide new momentum to the project.

“There is an obligation on the Urban Development Corporation to help define the garden city and how it is going to be distinct from any other estate.

“There remains huge potential in the area given the High Speed 1 links, the proximity to Bluewater and the capital.

“It is essential to get the correct infrastructure in place to support the new houses and the announcement by George Osborne last November to inject £310 million investment will help.”

Jonathon Hawkes, Dartford’s Labour leader, however feels not enough focus is on developing affordable housing.

He said: “I understand criticisms on location, but Kent’s need for housing is as acute as any part of the country.

“I agree housing developments do need to be sped up, but not at the cost of this one in particular.

“There are questions being raised about the conservative’s stewardship of the project, after the removal of Robin Cooper and now criticism from industry experts.

“We support the development, my main concern is making sure there is more of a focus on providing genuinely affordable housing for local people and their children as they grow up.”

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