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PICTURED: First look at where some of 15,000 Ebbsfleet homes will be built
The first look at the Eastern Quarry next to Bluewater where some of the 15,000 homes will be built.
Four new villages with 15,000 news homes will be created in Ebbsfleet after exciting plans for the new 'Garden City' were revealed by the Chancellor.
The homes will be built across the Eastern Quarry next to Bluewater just off Southfleet Road, Ebbsfleet Station and the Swanscombe peninsula.
George Osbourne tweeted the news 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."
The 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."
Land Securities owns the site where a small development called Castle Hill has already been built.
The news has been welcomed by Dartford MP Gareth Johnson who said: "This is a good thing for the local area.
"It's frustrating because we have been working with the council and Government for years trying to get this project off the ground.
"What is good about this announcement is that we will get £200m for infrastructure including roads, schools and doctors surgeries.
"It could be a fantastic place for people to live with the countryside so close and fast trains taking just 17 minutes to get into London.
"Land north of Southfleet will designated as greenbelt and that will be protected."
Planning permission was granted for around 6,000 new homes at Eastern Quarry, in 2007, but nothing was done, Mr Johnson added.
Gravesham MP Adam Holloway cautiously welcomed the plans but stressed the importance of "high quality homes" and "good infrastructure".
He added: "This scheme is using up huge quantities of skanky old brown field land and there is a huge anxiety of building on green belt in Gravesham. "My biggest concern is whether this is going to be high quality housing and what needs to come first is good infrastructure."
A Land Securities spokesman said: "The new arrangements should make it easier, quicker and cheaper to deliver a new garden city at Ebbsfleet and provide thousands of much needed new homes in the south-east. "Parts of Ebbsfleet Valley today still resemble a quarry (its former use) and significant further investment is needed before homes can be built at scale."
What is a garden city?
The concept of garden cities was developed by the liberal social reformer Sir Ebenezer Howard.
In his book "To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform", published in 1898, he proposed cities of 30,000 people that were self-sufficient and ringed by an agricultural belt.
Garden cities were a response to overcrowding and squalid living conditions in cities following the industrial revolution.
They were intended to combine the best of urban life with access to nature.
Other garden cities include Welwyn Garden City, Milton Keynes and Letchworth.
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