Sunday 16 March 2014

Ebbsfleet Garden City - Let it be a real garden city in both name and substance

Let it be a real garden city
in both name and substance

Philip Ross, the founder of the New Garden City Movement has welcomed the government’s announcement to build a new garden city in Ebbsfleet in Kent.

Philip Ross said that “Without a doubt Ebbsfleet is a great location for any new settlement and the need for more housing is apparent and the argument to have it is largely won. How it is going to be built is the next question”.

Philip Ross is the former Mayor of Letchworth Garden City and author of the book ‘21st Century Garden Cities of To-morrow’ along with Prof. Yves Cabannes of Bartlett College at UCL. The book integrates 12 key social principles that should be the foundation of any new garden city and provides examples of how to achieve them and is already being into Chinese where there is great interest in it.

Much of the land in Letchworth is still owned by the successor to the development trust that built it. Today it has assets of £127m and puts pack on top of council tax an additional

 £7.5m into the community, “Not bad” says Ross, “for a population of only 35,000”.

Philip Ross said “It is important that it is not just to consider this to be a new town rebadged as garden city for marketing purposes”.

He added that “A garden city needs be a long term project that provides economic, environmentally and socially sustainability. That means that like the original garden city it should
 capture the rising land values and prosperity of the city for good of the community as has happened in Letchworth not just money to build it but to run it
in perpetuity.

It should be built in harmony with the countryside and be carbon neutral. Thirdly it should be socially sustainable providing affordable homes in perpetuity. “

Ross said “A Garden City is more than just homes, offices and factories – it is a community. To create that sense of community you need a sense of place, pride and belonging. That is what a garden city is. It isn’t a slab of 15,000 Brezhnev style homes nor is it a cluster of gated communities”.

Ross noted, “You need to promise more than just homes, you need to provide a vision for a new community and a promise of how it will be run and what it will look like. That is what our 12 principles aim to provide. We will send a copy to George Osborne and I am confident in them and all the parties to work together on this.”

Philip Ross
07881 685 952
17th March 2014