Garden City principles must be upheld at Ebbsfleet

Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement of the creation of a new Garden City at Ebbsfleet, Kent. As the organisation which has campaigned for garden cities for over a hundred years (founded as the Garden City Association by Ebenezer Howard), the TCPA hopes that Ebbsfleet will be the first of a series of Garden Cities to be built all over the UK, and not only in the south-east.

This is an ambitious project for any government; the Garden City principles include strong vision and leadership; land value capture for the benefit of the community, as well as beautiful homes and gardens, a variety of employment opportunities and integrated and accessible transport systems.

TCPA Head of Policy, Hugh Ellis, said:

“There are huge opportunities to embed the Garden City principles in existing ‘stuck’ sites such as Ebbsfleet. We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement and look forward to learning the details of the proposals to see how the principles of community land ownership, long-term stewardship and land value capture for the benefit of the community will be embedded into the delivery of a beautiful, sustainable and viable new community. ”

“Given the scale of the housing crisis we cannot meet our current and future housing needs on a plot by plot basis and garden cities are an important part of the solution. This is why in the run up to the 2015 election the TCPA will be calling for all three major political parties to make a manifesto commitment to delivering beautiful, well designed and inclusive new communities; with affordable homes and new jobs in places people wish to live and work.”

TCPA Chairman Lee Shostak told the BBC news:

“Further investment and delivery of 15,000 homes at Ebbsfleet is a useful start, but we need a comprehensive and strategic approach to deliver a programme of several new garden cities across the UK.”

The TCPA will be holding a conference in London, ‘Time to make Garden Cities a reality’ on 25th March, with a keynote address from Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP.