Ebbsfleet Valley

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This article is about the new town in North Kent. For the hamlet near Ramsgate where Hengist and Augustine landed, see Ebbsfleet, Thanet.
Ebbsfleet Valley
Ebbsfleet Valley is located in Kent
Ebbsfleet Valley
Ebbsfleet Valley
 Ebbsfleet Valley shown within Kent
OS grid reference TQ597730
Civil parish Swanscombe and Greenhithe
District Dartford
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DA10
Dialling code 01987[1]
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°26′04″N 0°17′49″E / 51.434322°N 0.297071°E / 51.434322; 0.297071

Ebbsfleet Valley is a new town and redevelopment area in Kent, South East England, and part of the Thames Gateway, southwest of Gravesend.

It is named after the valley of the Ebbsfleet River, which it straddles. Although a small part of the site in the east lies within the borough of Gravesham, Ebbsfleet Valley primarily sits in the borough of Dartford.


The name Ebbsfleet is an artificial creation of seventeenth-century antiquaries, partly inspired by the name of Ebbsfleet in Thanet, 75 km (47 mi) to the east.[2]


It was announced on 16 March 2014 that redevelopment of the area would be led by a development corporation.[3]


Southeastern British Rail Class 395 High Speed EMU at Ebbsfleet International station in 2009

Much of the land is brownfield and was formerly used by industry; having been previously owned by the APCM, Blue Circle and most recently by Lafarge. The new community is planned to have a population of 40,000. Ebbsfleet International railway station was opened in November 2007 and provides services to Continental Europe on High Speed 1. Domestic services to St Pancras railway station in central London are operated by Southeastern.[4]

In March 2014, the British government announced its intention to construct a garden city at Ebbsfleet for up to 15,000 homes.[5] In November 2015, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer attempted to kick start the protect by injecting ₤300m.[6]

Richard Rogers, a former government adviser on cities, said: “They shouldn’t be building down there. East London still has masses of brownfield land, so why are we building 15 miles out? This is not a sustainable option.” [6]

The development is referred to as a garden city, which would be sustainable with publicly owned infrastructure and facilities, inhabitants would work on the estates. However this was said to be inspired by the Stockholm suburbs such as Hammarby. The design is to have cycleways, and 1,500 self-build homes, houseboats on the Thames and parkland. In reality, only 25 of the planned 15000 homes have been completed, those built by Barratt on land sold to them by Land Securities a major landowner. Neither the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation nor the Dartford Borough Council planning committee are happy with the quality. The planning committee chair,Derek Hunnisett, said “We are looking for a higher quality than the normal and what we are getting [so far] is the norm – standard off-the-peg stuff.”[6]

The nearest house is 24 minutes walk to the station.[7]

London Paramount Entertainment Resort[edit]

In a contradictory move, in the following May, they gave permission London Paramount Entertainment Resort, to buildtheme park on potential housing land on the adjoining Swanscombe Peninsula site, Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project status, allowing the developers to bypass local planning requirements[8] and build a leisure complex that by 2019 may create employment for 27,000 people.


There will be a trial by BT of a fibre network in the Ebbsfleet valley, potentially offering the highest speed internet connection to home users in the United Kingdom, with the exception of Ashford in Kent. It has been confirmed they will be offering speeds of 100Mbit/s which will transfer TV, Broadband and Telephone via optical fibre.[9] Businesses and residents of the area will be given a new telephone dialling code, 01987, though the small number of users who already have numbers allocated from the neighbouring codes (01322 or 01474) are able to retain them.[10] The 01987 code was adopted in April 2008, in preference to the vacant 01321 code.


The Ebbsfleet River is of great historical importance in English history and prehistory, and much archaeological excavation has taken place here over the years. Quarrying here has revealed signs of extensive occupation some 100,000 years ago: flint knapping was carried out here, the remains of a straight-tusked elephant have been found. Distinctive pottery from the Neolithic age has been discovered; such pots give their name to an important sub-culture of the period.[11][12]

Belgic Britons, in the late Iron Age have left behind traces of their culture. Prior to the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in this area, archaeological work undertaken at Ebbsfleet found an Anglo-Saxon mill. The river, which is fed by eight natural springs at Springhead (Latin: Vagniacis), was held sacred by the Celts who settled in the area around 100 BC.[13] They were followed by the Romans; their Watling Street passes through the site, and a villa has been excavated.

Many of the local chalk quarries were started by the Romans, possibly for cement manufacture and flint. The quarries were later expanded, in line with the industrial revolution, by Joseph Parker and others. A large flooded quarry, Sawyer's Lake, can be found nearby.

Civic identity[edit]

The football team Gravesend and Northfleet FC changed their name to Ebbsfleet United F.C. in the summer of 2007. Another move to promote a sense of identity in the new town is a planned landmark, which when built will be 50 m (160 ft) high (twice as high as the Angel of the North) and is intended to be visible from road, rail and air. However, in June 2012, the project was stalled by a lack of funding.[14][15][16][17][18] The Swanscombe High School, has been renamed again, this time to The Ebbsfleet Academy.[19]


  1. ^ http://www.area-codes.org.uk/01987.php
  2. ^ Keith Briggs, The two Ebbsfleets in Kent. Journal of the English Place-Name Society 44, 5–9
  3. ^ "Chancellor announces major boost to housebuilding". 16 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "High Speed Trains". Southeastern Railway. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  5. ^ "15,000-home garden city to be built at Ebbsfleet". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Booth, Robert (4 January 2016). "Vision of Ebbsfleet garden city for 65,000 struggles to take root". Guardian UK. Guardian UK. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Google Directions
  8. ^ Chiorando, Maria. "London Paramount park receives planning boost". Kent News. Archant. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Meyer, David (10 Jan 2008). "BT fibre trial to start in August". ZDNet.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Proposals to accommodate geographic number demand in the Ebbsfleet region". Ofcom. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  11. ^ The Book of Gravesham, Sidney Harker, 1979, Barracuda Books Ltd ISBN 0-86023-091-0
  12. ^ British History Online: The Neolithic Age
  13. ^ Springhead: the temple complex
  14. ^ BBC News - Sculpture 'will be icon of South'
  15. ^ BBC News - There is no Ebbsfleet'
  16. ^ BBC News - £2m sculpture designs revealed'
  17. ^ Guardian - Images of the shortlisted designs
  18. ^ Marijke Cox (30 June 2012). "Ebbsfleet white horse stalled by lack of funding". Kent News. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  19. ^ Edwards, Anna (12 September 2013). "No-nonsense new headteacher sent home FIVE PER CENT of pupils on first day of school for breaching strict new uniform rules". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 

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