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Regional Planning and Development: Ebbsfleet

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the progress that is being made towards achieving the target of creating 20,000 new jobs in the Ebbsfleet Valley. (242575)

Ebbsfleet Valley will, in the main, be delivered through private sector investment and, in the short term, progress will largely be governed by what is possible for the private sector to achieve under current economic conditions. However, the Ebbsfleet Valley development has always been a long-term project and as the market improves we expect the overall targets to be achieved.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to help achieve the target of creating 20,000 new jobs in the Ebbsfleet Valley; and if she will make a statement. (242576)

The Government are supporting the necessary infrastructure required to help private sector developers achieve their aspirations for Ebbsfleet. The Homes and Communities Agency is considering a contribution to the Homes and Roads project which will provide a series of transport initiatives to improve access and traffic flow to the area and fund public transport improvements. My Department has also funded the Fastrack rapid transit system, which will link Ebbsfleet Valley with the wider Kent Thameside regeneration area. Ebbsfleet is already connected to the European High Speed rail network. Domestic high speed services from Ebbsfleet to St. Pancras start in 2009, increasing the attractiveness of the location for development, investment and employers.