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Thames Estuary growth plan launches with 'incredible economic potential' for future generations

PUBLISHED: 12:11 14 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:11 14 July 2016

The commission is charged with developing a vision and delivery plan for north Kent, south Essex and east London,

The commission is charged with developing a vision and delivery plan for north Kent, south Essex and east London,

Archant

The Thames Estuary regions stretches from Canary Wharf to Thanet

A plan to develop nearly 40-miles of land around the Thames has officially launched today (Thursday).

The former chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne announced the Thames Estuary Growth Plan during his spring budget.

Leaders officially launched the plan today, claiming it will “unleash growth for decades to come”.

The Thames Estuary region stretches from Canary Wharf to Thanet, and covers areas such as Thamesmead and Dartford.

Lord Heseltine, who has been described as a development guru, is leading the commission.

Speaking today, he said: “All the evidence suggests that the Thames Estuary has a incredible economic potential.

“This commission presents a wonderful opportunity, not only to make the most of plans already afoot, but to look beyond that and forge ahead with a vision to unleash growth for decades to come.

“We have brought together world-leading industry experts and would urge others with an interest in the region and good ideas to now come forward and contribute.”

It is expected to build on ongoing projects within the region, which include Ebbsfleet Garden City and a Lower Thames Crossing which could be built in the Gravesham countryside.

Bosses behind the garden city have voiced support for the plan.

Chairman of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, Michael Cassidy said the 15,000-home development project would play a big part in developing the Thames estuary.

He said: “Momentum is really gathering in the garden city with 600 starts on site estimated over the next year, approval given to a £12million new bridge to link residents to Ebbsfleet International Station and a new primary school set to open in September 2017.

“Ebbsfleet remains a strong place to invest in with significant growth potential and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the commission in the future.”

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