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New homes in Ebbsfleet welcome

17 March 2014

The Eastern Quarry site in Ebbsfleet - one of the biggest brownfield sites in England The Eastern Quarry site in Ebbsfleet - one of the biggest brownfield sites in England © Max Nathan

This weekend the Chancellor announced plans for a "garden city" with 15,000 new homes at Ebbsfleet.

Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

'The development of 15,000 homes on brownfield land at Ebbsfleet is welcome news. England has a housing crisis and CPRE has long supported the use of previously developed land for new housing, so it is good to see Government offering the kind of leadership that has so far been lacking to get houses on this site built. This leadership must be sustained, unlock development sites that have been stalled for many years, and ensure that environmental constraints such as Green Belt and high quality agricultural land are respected.

'Ebbsfleet provides a great opportunity to create a new settlement which can be an exemplar for 21st century development. That will require design and master-planning of the highest quality, combining higher density housing with plenty of green space; a serious attempt to tackle car dependency and reduce energy usage; and a connection with the surrounding countryside. Is the Government up for this challenge, or does it just want to build lots of houses as quickly as possible?'

The Campaign to Protect Rural England believes there may be a place for new towns in solving the housing crisis but they must be in the right place, be locally supported and well-planned. And they are not a panacea. Government must make sure it continues to prioritise urban regeneration and development on brownfield land across the country, not just in the South East.

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