Grant Shapps, the pre-reshuffle Housing Minister, has announced that the
first phase of a 22,500 homes scheme can go ahead on 1,000 acres of land in
the south-east. Given the amount of time currently being spent discussing
the Northern Fringe (which could end up somewhere between 3,500 and 4,500
homes) I wish the community groups, the Local Authorities and the developer a
speedy solution to the Master Planning of the Ebbsfleet Valley. Between the
Bluewater Shopping Centre and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge the Ebbsfleet new
town will be the biggest development in the south-east for the next ten
By comparison the Northern Fringe looks small but that does not mean that the
community groups who have been working with Ipswich Borough Council have been
quiet. Far from it. The debate has been extensive and time consuming.
There are some important areas of disagreement which will need careful
negotiation to resolve and clearly a variety of vested interests. I am
pleased to report however that the discussions are frank and constructive and
solutions will be forthcoming.
Cover, issue 189