The regeneration potential of the Thames Gateway is undoubted, and we welcome the intent to finally unlock the opportunities to deliver housing at Eastern Quarry. However CPRE Protect Kent remains cautious about the potential erosion of the developer contributions that were agreed as part of the original planning permission for the site.
The developer contributions are intended to provide the necessary infrastructure that makes and enables a new community to come to life. This ‘section 106’ agreement will help to provide the transport links, the education, healthcare and all the other essential facilities that will be required. These developer contributions are absolutely critical, without which other nearby communities services may be overwhelmed by the influx of new residents. Therefore, CPRE Protect Kent believes it will be absolutely crucial to Ebbsfleet’s regeneration that the developers are required to provide sufficient money for the infrastructure.
CPRE Protect Kent also have concerns, after our recent drought, about the strain that a new mass of houses might put on an already stressed water system. We would urge developers to take the opportunity to deliver houses which meet the 21st century’s needs for water and energy efficiency, and not to lower standards in the rush to provide quantity over quality. The watchword for this development must be ‘sustainability’, both in terms of developer contributions, as well as both water and energy efficiency. Without these conditions being met, we feel that Ebbsfleet may well be a poisoned chalice for the government.