Detailed planning consent has now been given for the first few dozen houses to be built in the Eastern Quarry. These houses will form the first of some 6,000 new homes in what is now being called Ebbsfleet Valley. This huge project will also provide space for businesses, schools, libraries, medical, sports and leisure facilities. It is essential that the right infrastructure is built to accommodate these new homes.
The number of new homes being built in England rose by 6% in the three months to June 2013. Dartford has seen its own share of new build development over the last few years and it is vital to the economy that home building is able to thrive. Not only does it serve to provide work for those in the construction industry, which suffered considerably during the recession, but it also provides a stimulus for local and national investment.
It is pleasing to see improved confidence in the housing market with many home owners who fell into negative equity during the economic downturn seeing prices beginning to rise again. There has, for many years, been a shortage of accommodation in the UK and the situation is beginning to improve. Some 10,000 people have applied for new homes under the Government’s ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ since it was launched in April, which has increased the demand for new build properties.
I am hopeful that there will be continued reason for optimism within the housing market once the current ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ is extended in January. This will enable Government equity loans to be made available to buyers of existing properties. The plans will exclude foreign buyers with no history of property owning in the UK, buyers of second homes and buy-to-let landlords. It is hoped that the scheme will be able to provide a start on the housing ladder for many hardworking people who have previously been priced out of the market.