The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has started consulting on the planning powers, area and remit of the development corporation the Government plans to establish to create a 15,000-home garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent.
Ministers have named lawyer Michael Cassidy CBE as chairman designate of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. He is currently a member of the City of London Corporation, chairman of the City of London Property Investment Board and a non executive director of Crossrail.
The new entity has the backing of the local authorities affected: Kent County Council and Gravesham and Dartford Borough Councils.
The area is predominately brownfield land (including former quarries) and one patch of Green Belt which will retain its designation. The location proposed for the garden city has little or no existing residential development except for Springhead Quarter.
At this juncture DCLG is proposing the development corporation will deal with all planning applications including the determination of minor applications, neighbourhood notifications; prior approval applications; and householder applications within its boundary.
In addition the Corporation will be responsible for determining minerals and waste management applications which are currently made to Kent County Council.
There are a number of other applications which the Corporation will decide, such as: works on trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders; advertisements; and Listed Buildings.
The sole exceptions will be proposals made by the existing planning authorities for land which they own.
We are proposing that these few applications would remain with the local authorities and would not become the responsibility of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to determine.
explained the DCLG consultation document.
The Government is making up to £200m of infrastructure funding available to kick start work on the garden city.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the corporation will be established in early 2015. The new body will be expected to develop and implement a business plan, working with local authorities and local communities.