Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to pump £30m into electricity sub stations to supply garden city

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Plans for Ebbsfleet Garden City

A £30m investment pledge in new electricity sub stations and connections has been made by bosses behind the Ebbsfleet garden city, to help power the 15,000-home development.

The commitment by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation is the first time a public body has invested in this way to help unlock development.

While chiefs say the deal was vital to secure the continued growth of the city in north Kent, the money will be claimed back through an agreement reached with UK Power Networks (UKPN) 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, added: “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.”

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 and the development’s first primary school, Cherry Orchard, will open in September, just 18 months after being given planning permission.

Work has also begun on a new £12m 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 city.