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Creating a new garden city

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Louise Wyman, director of strategy at the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, on unlocking development potential and delivering local ambitions

Describe your role and responsibilities within the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC)
I’m responsible for forward planning, which includes Ebbsfleet Garden City masterplanning and placemaking. I’m also responsible for EDC’s communication strategy and for community engagement. I’m part of EDC’s executive team, led by our chief executive, Robin Cooper, and our chairman, Michael Cassidy.

What is the corporation’s vision for the district, and how will it be achieved?
EDC’s core objective is to deliver a contemporary garden city providing up to 15,000 new homes, alongside commercial space and community facilities, such as new schools, healthcare facilities, sports venues and system of parks and green open spaces. We plan to unlock development potential in Ebbsfleet, increase the pace of development and improve design quality in the area.

What stage are you at in recruiting architects for key roles, such as the overall masterplanner and design review panel?
EDC is currently procuring consultants for a framework masterplan via the Homes & Communities Agency’s multidisciplinary panel. Architects can get involved in this work by contacting the 14 lead firms on the panel. 

Our core objective is to deliver a contemporary garden city providing up to 15,000 new homes

EDC will adopt creative approaches in the design of Ebbsfleet’s built environment, and we encourage architects, landscape architects, town planners, engineers and urban designers to engage with EDC in the masterplanning and placemaking process.

We’re also planning to set up a design review panel to support our in-house teams. Interested architects and designers will be invited to respond to an expression of interest to join the panel. Further details will be on EDC’s website in the autumn.

How will you maintain design quality throughout the project?
The masterplanning process will help EDC establish our ambition to deliver design quality throughout the life of Ebbsfleet Garden City. In partnership with local councils and landowners in Ebbsfleet, we will establish design principles and robust design review processes to deliver on our ambitions. From the start of this month EDC became the planning authority for sites within its boundary, giving us planning permission and powers of compulsory purchase.

We already work closely with Dartford Borough Council, Gravesham Borough Council and Kent County Council, which all have seats on EDC’s Board. We will continue to work closely with these partners and all other local stakeholders to deliver local ambitions.

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