Outline planning application submitted for Ebbsfleet Central East

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation have submitted their outline planning application for the first phase of new development in Ebbsfleet Central, located around Ebbsfleet International Railway Station. 

The outline planning application for Ebbsfleet Central East is the first phase of a milestone project within Ebbsfleet, with regeneration of the land focused around Ebbsfleet International Station.

Ebbsfleet Central East is the first planning application of the Ebbsfleet Central Masterplan, with this area split into three parcels – Northfleet Rise, Station Gardens and River Park. Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, supported by The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, is driving forward the delivery of this major regeneration project to provide access to important facilities such as jobs, healthcare, retail, business services and hospitality in the area. Current parking facilities around Ebbsfleet International Station will be re-provided and the area transformed into modern new offices, contemporary apartments, and places for people to enjoy arts and culture alongside fitness and wellbeing, with amenities to support the growing and existing communities of North Kent.

The Application Site has an extensive planning history, with Ebbsfleet Central having been earmarked for development for a significant amount of time. Ebbsfleet Development Corporation purchased the land in 2019 to ensure delivery of development in this location. Public consultation throughout much of 2020 has helped shape the vision for Ebbsfleet Central East, along with extensive stakeholder engagement and feedback from local community members. Ebbsfleet Central East will build on the success of Ebbsfleet as the first garden city in 100 years, emerging on brownfield land on the Kent Thames Riverside. Championed by the Government and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Ebbsfleet brings the traditional garden city principles up to date.

Having recently celebrated the 3,000th home built in Ebbsfleet, these proposals are the next step in delivering a truly mixed use, sustainable community that exemplifies the UK Government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The proposal is the first step towards realising EDC’s ambition in delivering a mixed use, sustainable community that meets the needs of residents and local community members, with unparalleled focus on health and wellbeing, with vibrant sustainable urban neighbourhoods to support a happy and healthy lifestyle.

The submission of the outline planning application for Ebbsfleet Central East paves the way for further progression towards delivering ‘the heart’ of Ebbsfleet, comprising of mixed use residential and commercial opportunities spanning up to 485,000m2. The plan for Ebbsfleet Central East comprises approximately 2,100 homes, up to 100,000sqm of office floorspace, and up to 10,000sqm of retail floor space to include supermarkets, bars, restaurants, and cafés. Alongside this, a world class Health and Wellbeing Hub has been proposed to provide primary healthcare (GP services) and other community wellbeing space. There is potential for additional diagnostic facilities to be provided. These facilities, together with space for business, education and research will make up a world-class Health, Education & Innovation Quarter.

The plans outline the proposed creation of a vibrant environment that is easily accessible, with integrated transport systems, a variety of retail, cultural and community uses, along with public facing amenities responding to the needs of local workers, residents, and visitors. Through the offering of homes, accommodation and public spaces, there will be a generous inclusion of outdoor spaces to provide space to breathe, relax and emphasise the importance of being part of a healthy community.

Plans to improve productivity and prosperity by enhancing education and skills offerings, with access to schools and health facilities, will not only result in a strengthened local economy, but will also attract new talent and investment to the area, boosting the local economy and connecting new and existing neighbourhoods together.

With excellent railway connectivity to London and the rest of the UK, Ebbsfleet Central East will be a well-integrated transport hub based on public transport and active travel. This unparalleled connectivity will be reinforced by providing a network of well-designed public and green spaces and new connections across the site and to wider communities. These will be designed as direct, safe, secure, and attractive routes to encourage walking and cycling.

Jen Hunt, Director of Development at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, summarised the milestone: ‘This submission is a significant step towards creating the heart of Ebbsfleet, providing vital services and facilities for the local community. Ebbsfleet Central will be a major commercial destination in its own right, with next-generation workspaces, city-style apartments, culture and connections to parks, schools, lakes, and a new state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing hub. The outline planning application is integral to building our vision of Ebbsfleet Central and creating a more detailed plan of how the project can serve local residents and our neighbours in Dartford and Gravesham.’

The outline planning application will seek to establish whether the scale and nature of the proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority, before a fully detailed proposal is put forward. From this outline planning application, EDC are looking to secure connectivity, building heights, density, green and blue infrastructure, and land use.

Ian Piper, Chief Executive of EDC, further elaborates on the progression of Ebbsfleet Central: ‘The submission of the outline planning application is the first step of many to ensure we drive the regeneration of Ebbsfleet that truly reflects local needs and opportunity. If these outline plans are approved, we will begin to incorporate the finer, technical aspects of delivery, such as location of facilities, building heights, and pathways. Throughout the process we encourage local residents and community members to let us know their thoughts throughout the consultations that will take place as we begin to design the look and feel of Ebbsfleet Central East.’

The outline planning permission will act as a framework within which the detail of the proposals will be developed through future planning applications. This detail, including design, land use, building heights and connectivity, will be developed to ensure maximum flexibility and proactive response to changes in the market, technology and infrastructure needs over time.

A decision on the outline planning application will be given early 2023. The outline planning application can be viewed online: http://applications.ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/online-applications/ using reference EDC/22/0168.

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