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UK Politics

Flood risk for George Osborne’s 21st Century garden city

Environment Agency report warns of threat to 15,000  proposed homes in Ebbsfleet

George Osborne's vision for a 21st Century garden city in Ebbsfleet, South East England, could be at risk of flooding, a report has warned.

The Environment Agency report warned that the area at Ebbsfleet - which has been earmarked for a new town with 15,000 homes - is prone to severe flooding.

It said: “flood risk in areas to be developed needs to be well understood so that proposed developments do not put more people at risk”.

The matter was raised in the report released four years ago, in which it set out the potential risks of flooding across north Kent, along with ways in which it could be managed. It said 1,282 homes could be at risk during a “once in a century” event.

The revelation came just days after the Chancellor announced that the first new garden city for 100 years would be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent to help relieve pressure on the housing market in the South East.

“It is not something this country has attempted for decades,” Mr Osborne told Andrew Marr on Sunday. “Britain has to up its ambition, Britain has to up its game, Britain has to earn its way in the world.”

The Treasury has responded that the issue of flooding was dealt with when planning permission was previously granted for thousands of homes in the area.