A new 'Garden City' will be created in Ebbsfleet with an initial 15,000 new homes, Chancellor George Osbourne has confirmed.

Mr Osbourne tweeted ahead of this week's Budget and said: “We’re going to invest £200m to support 15,000 new homes and create the first Garden City for almost 100 years in Ebbsfleet Kent."

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday the Chancellor said the site was chosen because there was "fantastic" infrastructure and it was in south-east England where pressure on housing has been high.

He added local people wanted to see regeneration of the area.

Mr Osborne said the government's Help to Buy scheme would also be extended until the end of the decade.

The official announcement comes a month after former transport secretary Lord Adonis also gave the plan his backing.

Mr Osborne said: "In Ebbsfleet there is the land available, there is fantastic infrastructure with the high speed line.

"It's on the river, it's in the south-east of England where a lot of the housing pressure has been.

"And crucially you've got local communities and local MPs who support the idea.

"We're going to create an urban development corporation so we're going to create the instrument that allows this kind of thing to go ahead and cuts through a lot of the obstacles that often happen when you want to build these homes.

"There are already some homes being built on the site, so progress was under way, but it was on a much, much smaller scale and with much less ambition than what I'm setting out today."

Ebbsfleet has a stop on the high-speed rail line to the Channel Tunnel and into London.

London mayor Boris Johnson tweeted that the plans were "great news" for London, for jobs, growth and the UK economy.

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