A new report published by the Centre for London think tank proposes building a new town at Ebbsfleet in Kent to provide homes for tens of thousands of people.
The Milton Keynes-style settlement would be the UK’s first new town since the Sixties and, the report says, could act as a catalyst for further development in the South-East and help tackle London’s housing crisis.
The proposal is suggested in Go East: Unlocking the Potential of the Thames Estuary, a collection of essays edited by Labour Peer Andrew Adonis.
Lord Andrew Adonis said: “There is huge scope for new homes and infrastructure to transform the region into a thriving commercial and cultural centre, all the while easing the strain on housing supply in the South East and London. The key to unlocking this potential is Ebbsfleet.
“If we want to arrest the region’s decades of structural decline we need to invest in its connectivity and wider appeal. Putting measures in place to build a new town at Ebbsfleet would kickstart the process – the benefits would be enormous.”
Ben Rogers, Director of the Centre for London said: “Politicians of all persuasions say they want to see more housing built and many are attracted to building garden cities and new towns on green field
“But this invariably meets with strong local resistance. It makes much more sense to look to the Thames Estuary, where there are plenty of town centres that could be regenerated and expanded and brown field sites that could be developed.
“This is especially true of Ebbsfleet, which has seen massive public investment in rail infrastructure and won’t need a huge amount of additional investment to bring to fruition.”