Osborne announces house-building project in Thames estuary

A new garden city is to be built in the Thames estuary and the Government's controversial Help to Buy scheme for home purchasers is to be extended until the end of the decade, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Speaking ahead of his Budget on Wednesday, Mr Osborne said that Britain had to "get building" with the construction of tens of thousands of new homes in the coming years.

The development of a garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent will initially provide 15,000 homes while the extension of Help to Buy for new properties - which had been due to end in 2016 - to 2020 will support the building of 120,000 additional homes, he said."This means more homes, this means more aspiration for families, this means economic security and economic resilience because Britain has got to get building," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

Mr Osborne said that the development of Ebbsfleet - on the high speed rail link to the Channel Tunnel - would build on the example of developments such as Letchworth, Welwyn Garden City and Milton Keynes.

"There is the land available. There is fantastic infrastructure with a high speed line, it is on the river, it is in the south east of England where a lot of the housing pressure has been. It will be a proper garden city. It is not something this country has attempted for decades. That is one of the messages of my Budget. Britain has to up its ambition, Britain has to up its game, Britain has to earn its way in the world. Yes, the economy is recovering but that is not enough. We have got to finish the job."

– George Osborne, Chancellor
George Osborne made the announcement this morning Credit: PA
More than 15000 homes will be built Credit: ITV Meridian