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FAQs2018-12-03T16:00:08+00:00

FAQs

We do not currently build homes, but may do so in future. Our approach is to act as the catalyst for home building by helping to bring landowners and developers together, and through our powers to determine planning applications as the Local Planning Authority for the area. Following an extensive process of studying the infrastructure needs of the Garden City and presenting business cases to Government, we invest in infrastructure to support the Garden City, including private infrastructure (electricity water, etc) as well as public infrastructure (roads, schools etc). The Development Corporation also has capacity for direct development of land for a greater variety of homes and jobs in situations where the market may not deliver these.

We do not own any land in the Garden City area at present but are able to invest directly in infrastructure that unlocks development, and may purchase land in future to carry out direct development. This could include investing in public infrastructure such as roads, investing on commercial terms at individual development sites, for example to fund ground preparation, or delivering greater opportunities for homes and jobs.

We have powers, similar to those available to local authorities, to buy land on a compulsory basis. Compulsory Purchase Orders are not used lightly and may be required only rarely, where negotiations to purchase land fail.

A map of the area covered by the Development Corporation, and map of the strategic sites, is available from the following page: ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/development-area/

Our ability to determine planning applications is a key mechanism for ensuring the delivery of high-quality, sustainable development needed to fulfil the vision for the Garden City.

For information on new homes for sale a list of the developers actively building in the Garden City, and links to their websites, is available from the following page: ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/developers

We are not aware of any opportunities for self-build plots or custom housing within our area at present, however are committed to ensuring there are housing opportunities for everyone and are currently exploring with our partners how this can be delivered. People whom wish to register their interest in self-build and custom-build housing within our area should continue to do so with Dartford and Gravesham Borough Councils respectively using their website links below:

www.dartford.gov.uk/by-category/housing2/housing/other-housing-services/self-and-custom-build-register

www.gravesham.gov.uk/home/planning-and-building/self-build-and-custom-building-register/overview

The Garden City will offer a range of commercial units, workspaces and facilities. The areas around Ebbsfleet International Station and Northfleet Embankment have been designated as an ‘Enterprise Zone’ which will offer attractive Business Rate Relief to new and existing businesses established there.

We welcome all views and questions. For general enquiries please contact the Development Corporation using details on the following page: https://ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/contact/ . Your enquiry will then be allocated to the relevant team or person whom will contact you with a response.

You can also submit a question to our board for consideration. To find out how, click here.

For information on commenting on a planning application please refer to FAQs section for Planning Applications.

What if I can’t get an answer to my question?

We are a transparent organisation and will always respond to your enquiries. If you are unhappy with a response we have given, please let us know and we will work to resolve this with you. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public with access to information held by public bodies. As an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Development Corporation will be bound by the same obligations. Click here to find out what to do.

We are a transparent organisation and will always respond to your enquiries. If you are unhappy with a response we have given, please let us know and we will work to resolve this with you. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public with access to information held by public bodies. As an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Development Corporation will be bound by the same obligations. Click here to find out what to do.

Garden City Infrastructure

Residents of the Garden City will have access to the full range of health facilities and services available in other parts of Dartford and Gravesham, including GP Practices located near to the Garden City, Darent Valley Hospital, and a walk-in urgent care centre located in Gravesend. As the population grows GP Practices and health hubs are proposed within the Garden City itself.

Ebbsfleet Garden City’s first new primary school, Cherry Orchard opened at Castle Hill in September 2017. Further new primary schools are proposed within Ebbsfleet Green and Springhead Park and the Development Corporation is working with Kent County Council as the Education Authority, and developers, to deliver these. Ebbsfleet Academy is the local existing Secondary School and an Education Campus is proposed within Eastern Quarry to include a new Secondary School as the development within that site progresses. Other existing Grammar, Faith, Single Sex and Academies are also nearby.

Pre-School nurseries are proposed to come forward with delivery of new primary schools. There is no statutory requirement for children to attend a nursery and so other forms of nursery, for example day nurseries, are difficult to obtain provision for within planning consents for new housing development.

Two Community Centres have been built within the Garden City, the Eastgate Community Centre at Springhead Park, and the Cherry Orchard Community Centre at Castle Hill (adjacent to the Primary School). Further Community Centres are proposed as housing in the Garden City is delivered. A Public House and Hotel, The Spring River, has been built within Ebbsfleet Green. There will be local shopping facilities and neighbourhood centres in the Garden City to ensure residents can buy everyday needs and provisions. The Garden City is also near to Bluewater Shopping Centre as well as Gravesend and Dartford Town Centres.

Planning consents granted for sites within the Garden City require provision of affordable housing in line with adopted local plans of Dartford and Gravesham, with the main affordable housing products being Affordable or Social Rent, and Shared Ownership.

No, Kent County Council is the Highway Authority for all roads in the development area. We do however seek to ensure good quality and safe streets that are well maintained long-term through the design of new developments, including roads which will become publicly adopted by the Highway Authority.

We are seeking to create a Garden City that is easy to get around using sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport. We see this as the best way to tackle congestion on the roads and encourage health and wellbeing. Notwithstanding this, additional development will still require capacity enhancements to the existing road network. Our approach to transport improvements is through creating opportunities for Active Travel, and investment in Public Transport and Strategic Highway Improvements. More detail on each of these is given below.

Active Travel

We are working with local authorities, landowners and developers to ensure that it will be easy to get around the Garden City on foot or by bicycle. We are developing a series of green corridors across the area with the first phases now being delivered in the Northfleet area. We are developing a walking and cycling strategy and a number of other studies to help inform our approach to walking and cycling around Ebbsfleet. We are also working with developers to prioritise active travel within the design and layout of new phases of development.

 

Public transport

The Development Corporation will work with Kent County Council as the Highway Authority to support the upgrade of existing and installation of new Fastrack bus routes, using financial contributions obtained from delivery of new housing development. This includes a future route through Eastern Quarry to provide a direct link between Bluewater Shopping Centre and Ebbsfleet International Station. We are currently constructing a road bridge to connect Springhead Park to the Ebbsfleet Central area to improve connectivity and support enhanced public transport. The bridge is due to be open in early 2020.

 

Strategic Highway Improvements

The Development Corporation is working with Highways England to deliver junction upgrade works at the Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions of the A2; this will make sure that key infrastructure is delivered early on in development of the Garden City and will allow these junctions to handle more traffic flow. Highways England completed a public consultation around the proposals in early 2018 and further information can be found from the following link:highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a2-bean-and-ebbsfleet-junction-improvements

Planning Applications

Answers to several common queries are given below. For more detailed planning enquiries a Planning Information Guide is available from the following page: ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning

The Development Corporation maintains an online register of all planning applications within our area which can be accessed from the following page: applications.ebbsfleet.org.uk/online-applications

If you want to comment on a planning application that has not yet been decided, planning applications inside the Corporation’s boundary will be available for public comment as they would be without a Development Corporation. The easiest way to make comment is online via the above address or alternatively, you can send in your representations direct by email to EDCplanning@ebbsfleetdc.org.uk, or by post.

It is important that the planning application reference number and site address is provided when making a representation so that we can identify comments made to the correct application. Your name and address must also be provided because local planning authorities are unable to consider anonymous comments. All information you send us in relation to a planning application is public information, including comments made by statutory consultees or neighbours. Your comments will be available for public inspection on the internet and by law must be available for anyone to inspect. This includes publishing any comments on our Public Access pages, so please note your correspondence cannot be kept confidential. Your comments are reviewed and personal information such as your signature, email address or telephone number will be the only elements removed.

Applicants can submit planning applications, including completing the application form, uploading supporting documents and paying fees online via the Planning Portal or iApply services. Links to these services as well as information on submitting paper applications and paying fees by BACS or cheque is available from the following page: https://ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/planning-application/.

Early engagement has significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system for all parties. Good quality pre-application discussion enables better coordination between public and private resources and improved outcomes for the community. It also assists local planning authorities in issuing timely decisions, helping to ensure that applicants do not experience unnecessary delays and costs.

The Development Corporation encourages engagement in pre-application discussions for any proposal within its boundary and currently offer this service free of charge.

Information on Pre-Application advice and copy of the form to complete is available from the following page: https://ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/planning-information/

A case officer will be allocated and will contact you as soon as possible following submission.

The Development Corporation will make and issue the decision on all proposals that fall within its powers, including full and outline permissions, EIA screening and scoping opinions, variations to conditions (Section 73), reserved matters applications, non-material amendments, prior approval applications, listed building consents, and applications for advertisement consent. The Corporation does not have powers to determine some applications for example certificates of lawfulness (existing or proposed use).

Once a planning application has been validated, local planning authorities are expected to make a decision on the proposal as quickly as possible and in any event within the statutory time limit, unless a longer period is agreed in writing with the applicant. This applies equally to the Development Corporation. The statutory time limits are usually 13 weeks for applications for major development and 8 weeks for all other types of development (unless an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case a 16 week limit applies). The Development Corporation is however committed to assist developments to be delivered at pace, as well as quality, and encourage applicants to engage in pre-application discussions prior to formal submission which can help speed up the formal planning application process.

The majority of decisions on applications submitted to the Development Corporation are likely to be delegated to officers for decision in conformity with the Development Corporation’s Scheme of Delegation (available here). Information on Development Corporation Planning Committees, including arrangements and protocol for public speaking, are available from the following page: ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/meetings

The meetings are generally held at the Eastgate Centre, Springhead Park. Public speaking is permitted at the Planning Committee meeting, which must follow the protocol for public speaking. Further information on the Planning Committee and link to the protocol is available from the following page: ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/planning/meetings

The statutory framework for determining planning applications is set out in national legislation, and applies equally to the Development Corporation as it does to local planning authorities with Councils. This requires that planning applications must be determined in accordance with the local development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise, and having regard to any representations received. Determinations made by the Development Corporation will therefore be made having consideration to the relevant development plan corresponding to the area in which the site is located, in addition to national planning policy and guidance and comments from members of the public and statutory consultees.

The decision making process will therefore fundamentally be the same as it would be if the local authorities were still determining the application. Whatever decision is made on a planning application, the factors under consideration will remain the same for the Development Corporation as it would for the existing local authorities. The Ebbsfleet Implementation Framework is a further material consideration in determining planning applications in the Garden City, which has been produced by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and endorsed by the local Authorities of Dartford, Gravesham and Kent, and includes our vision and guidance for Ebbsfleet Garden City. Further information on the Framework is available from the following page:ebbsfleetdc.org.uk/the-vision

The powers to determine Lawful Development Certificates have not been transferred to the Development Corporation. There will be no change to current Lawful Development Certificate procedures and you should apply to the relevant local planning authority for the area where the site is located.

The Development Corporation has planning enforcement controls and can consider breaches of planning control such as building works or change of use of land or buildings which do not have planning permission. If planning permission is not required, it will not be possible to take any action. To report an apparent breach of planning control please contact the planning team on 0303 444 8832 or email EDCplanning@ebbsfleet.org.uk with your contact details. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.

There will be no change to current Building Control procedures as a result of the establishment of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. There are a number of providers for building control services in Kent. These include local authority providers as follows:

For the Dartford area – Dartford Borough Council Building Control Service

Website: www.dartford.gov.uk/by-category/environment-and-planning2/building-control

Telephone: 01322 343434. Email: customer.services@dartford.gov.uk

For the Gravesham area – South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership

Website: www.stgbc.org.uk Telephone: 01634 331133. Email: building@stgbc.org.uk

The decision making process will fundamentally be the same as it would be if the local authorities were still determining the application. Whatever decision is made on a planning application, the factors under consideration will remain the same for the Development Corporation as it would for the existing local authorities. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise, and regard had to any representations received. Determinations made by the Development Corporation will therefore be made having consideration to the relevant development plans corresponding to the area in which the site is located and comments from members of the public and statutory consultees.

The adopted local plans for the local authorities which provide the framework for planning decisions can be found at the following links:

Dartford Borough Council https://www.dartford.gov.uk/by-category/environment-and-planning2/new-planning-homepage/planning-policy

Gravesham Borough Council http://www.gravesham.gov.uk/services/environment-and-planning/planning/planning-policy

Kent County Council http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/environment-waste-and-planning-policies/planning-policies/minerals-and-waste-local-plan

The Development Corporation now maintains an online planning register which contains information on all planning applications within our area and can be accessed from: http://applications.ebbsfleet.org.uk/online-applications/.

If you want to comment on a planning application that has not yet been decided, planning applications inside the Corporation’s boundary will be available for public comment as they would be without a Development Corporation. The easiest way to make comments is online via the above address or alternatively, you can send in your representations direct by email or post.

It is important that the planning application reference number and site address is provided when making a representation, as well as your name and address. This is needed because local planning authorities are not able to consider anonymous comments.

Please be aware that any representations received are put on a public file and will be available for anyone to view.

The majority of decisions on applications submitted to the Development Corporation are likely to be delegated to officers for decision in conformity with the Development Corporation’s Scheme of Delegation (available here). Information on Development Corporation Planning Committees, including arrangements and protocol for public speaking, are published on the Corporation’s website. The meetings are generally held at the Eastgate Centre, Springhead Park.
Where it is clear at the outset that an extended period will be necessary to process an application, the Development Corporation would welcome the applicant to enter into a planning performance agreement before the application is submitted. A planning performance agreement is a project management tool which sets timescales for actions between the local planning authority and an applicant. Applicants or their agents should discuss the potential planning performance agreement with the Development Corporation.

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