Ebbsfleet Development Corporation will invest £30million in the provision of new electricity sub stations and connections in order to ensure the supply for up to 15,000 homes and a new city centre over the next 15 years, it was announced today.
It is the first time a public body has invested in this way to help unlock development and while the deal was vital to secure the continued growth in the Garden City which will see 5,100 homes completed by 2021, the money will be claimed back through an agreement reached with UK Power Networks when developers pay for the proportion of electricity they need.
Paul Spooner, Interim Chief Executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation said: “This is the first time a development corporation has been able to successfully forward fund electricity which is crucial because our private developer partners know the infrastructure will be there and ready as they continue to build at pace.
“It also future-proofs the Garden City by providing enough supply not only for 15,000 households but for our new city centre, unlocking land to investors for homes, businesses and leisure developments.
“Without this intervention, developers faced significant costs to get the fundamental connection infrastructure, but now they will pay for what they need and their investment in the supply goes straight back into the public purse.”
Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma, said: “By investing in vital infrastructure, we can unlock the delivery of thousands of new homes, boost productivity in local areas and support new communities to grow and thrive.
“This infrastructure deal demonstrates our continued commitment to the Ebbsfleet project as a leading example of innovative and ambitious solutions to help fix our broken housing market and increase housing supply.”
Mark Bromwich, commercial project manager for UK Power Networks said: “‘This exciting new deal will play a key part in our work to deliver reliable and safe electricity supplies for the area. It’s good to see an organisation planning for, and investing in the future needs of the Garden City”
In all, 77 Mega Volt Amps(MVA) will be supplied providing a new connection from Northfleet East Grid site to a new site at Northfleet West, plus two new primary substations.
The project also involves reinstatement and re-commissioning of existing pylons between the two sites.
More than 600 homes were started in Ebbsfleet Garden City in the last year.
The Garden City’s first primary school, Cherry Orchard, will open in September, just 18 months after being given planning permission, and work has started on a new £12million bridge linking Springhead Park with Ebbsfleet International Station which the EDC secured funding for, as well as a series of new walkways and cycleways across the Garden City.