Green space to comprise one third of vast housing project

100 hectares set aside for open space in Thames Gateway 6,250-home project

A third of a new 6,250-home project on 300ha will be open space. Dartford Borough Council has given planning permission for building on a site sandwiched between the Bluewater Shopping Centre and the River Thames. The scheme is intended to fit in with Government plans to create a Thames Gateway along the Thames and eastward into Kent. Commercial developer Land Securities has drawn up the master-plan for the site, which is on an old chalk quarry. There will be new wildlife areas, including neighbourhood parks, ponds, meadows, ecology areas, woodlands and lakes, which will be open to the public. The master-planner is US architect Eric Khune, assisted by Barton Willmore. The development will take place over 20 years. The initial site formation works are expected to start in April 2006 and the first houses are expected to be available from 2008. House-building firms will work in partnership to develop the various blocks of housing. Proposals include 30 per cent affordable homes, community facilities, shops and offices. The site will use existing roads and transport links. The quarry is next to the new Ebbsfleet Eurostar station, which is expected to open in 2007. A Land Securities representative could not give details of the proposed parks, which she said were at “an early stage” of planning.

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