Ebbsfleet Garden City
Ebbsfleet Garden City
Robin Cooper, chief executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, has said he will fight large-scale landlords wanting to buy up all the new homes in the Ebbsfleet garden city in Kent.
In 2014 the government announced that 15,000 homes would be constructed in the area between Dartford and Gravesend, primarily in the Eastern Quarry next to Bluewater shopping centre.
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has control over planning applications for the site and has a budget of £200million for infrastructure.
Mr Cooper said that he did not want “massive investors” snapping up homes in the area; however he admitted that he was not sure how he could stop buy-to-let landlords purchasing all the new properties.
He said: “We wouldn’t want massive investors coming in and buying blocks of 100 houses because you end up with very odd communities who are not committed to the area.
“You need a bit of that in the stock in case, for example, you have a doctor come in for three months or something like that.
“I wouldn’t be against someone buying a second house and renting that out but I wouldn’t want institutional investment coming in and buying whole blocks.
“How we stop it is a good question.”
The chief executive also said that he was not keen on the garden city becoming a dormitory town for London commuters. To alleviate this he has said that affordable homes built in the area – which will make up 20-30% of the housing stock – will only be allocated to people in Kent.
He said: “If you look at schemes like St Mary’s Island in Chatham, something like 90% of the people who have moved in have moved less than three miles.
“People are raising their family and don’t want to move too far. This will be very attractive for local people and it is probably not on the radar of people in London.”
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