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21st century Kent

It looks like we need to revise the acronym for the world’s emerging super-economies. From now on, it will be B.R.I.C.K. – Brazil, Russia, India, China, Kent. Grandiose visions, but is this what anyone asked for?

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter has teamed up with architect Sir Terry Farrell to launch a vision of Kent for the next 20 years. The pair travelled round the county by train to launch the £100,000 blueprint which was put together by Sir Terry.  Cllr Carter said:

“With the development of the high speed train (HS1), change is coming and we must plan for it. It has made a huge impact in bringing Canterbury, Margate and Folkestone nearer to London. I don’t think residents have woken up to the massive transformation HS1 will bring us.”

His vision includes a third £1 billion Thames crossing which could rake in an extra £30 million in tolls a year; a busier Manston airport with a rail link to Gatwick; a new town in a chalk quarry at Ebbsfleet; a new city linking all five Medway Towns; and revived coastal towns. Cllr Carter said:

“Unlocking Kent’s Potential sets the scene for the next 20 years. Sir Terry’s document is the gold dust on top, in glorious Technicolor, of what could come. Kent has been through the most extraordinary change in the past 25 years. We will have massive housing growth when we come out of recession. In the South East Plan we have 20 per cent more households coming – 128,000 new homes between now and 2026.”

Sir Terry said:

“I believe more people will come to Kent because it is so well connected. Kent can regard St Pancras as its London station. You are now connected to a completely different part of London. I remember 30 years ago all the docks in London were operational. It’s astonishing what changes can happen in such a short time. We must link all the airports by high speed rail so people can get from one to another easily preventing the need for more airports. I would like to characterise Kent into three areas: the UK’s most varied and thriving coast; the 21st century Garden of England; and the UK’s most connected county.”

HB Times 4th Feb 2010

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