Last week I had the pleasure of officially opening the new sixth form centre at Ebbsfleet Academy. This addition, which offers students the chance to study either A-levels or the International Baccalaureate, is a fantastic asset for the school. It was great to see the new EA6 centre first-hand and the facilities that are on offer there.
The Dartford Messenger reported last week on the opening of two other facilities in the new Garden City, namely a new pub and a primary school. This highlights to me how the Ebbsfleet Garden City project is now really beginning to take shape and in the past financial year 640 homes have been started, with seven developers now on site.
People often comment to me how these extra homes need investment in infrastructure to cope with the increased demands of a rising population and I certainly agree with this view. The plans to expand the Bean interchange on the A2 have recently been given the go ahead which will help the local traffic. The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation have also set out how they will provide for a medical polyclinic to be built along with four GP surgeries and a hotel to be opened in January. Cherry Orchard Primary Academy had its first intake last week which is the first of a number of new schools planned for the area. There will be a commercial centre around Ebbsfleet Station and an extension across the site of the Fastrack bus service. These new facilities and others are vital if the Ebbsfleet Garden City project is going to be successful. We need to build new homes to cope with the rise in demand but extra infrastructure must be developed too.