690 jobs in the pipeline

Councillors may invest £35 million of taxpayers money to build offices and warehouses on the banks of the Thames in a bid to create 690 jobs.

A public exhibition will be held on the proposals for a commercial development on land known as Northfleet Embankment East.

The scheme is being put forward by Gravesham Borough Council and Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC), the body planning a new garden city.

Gravesend riverside

The employment land would sit next to a 600-home scheme by housebuilder Keepmoat, which is due to go before a planning committee later this year.

The two authorities will submit an outline planning application for the 240,000sq ft of commercial space – also later this year – which will be decided by EDC’s planning committee.

If approved, more than 40 industrial units could be built next to a business centre, offices and a small retail space.

Gravesham council’s business development chief Cllr Samir Jassal said the scheme “would be the first new significant commercial development in the borough for 25 years”.

It will sit in the North Kent Enterprise Zone, an area where the Government offers incentives to attract firms, meaning companies which move into the space will be eligible for business rates discounts worth up to £55,000 per year up to 2022.

Gravesham council deputy leader Cllr David Turner, said: “These plans will be subject to the outcome of this consultation exercise so it’s really important we get as many people involved as we can. However, the cabinet is keen for it happen.”

Paul Spooner, interim chief executive of the EDC, said: “While we are delivering homes at pace in the garden city we are also keen to bring new jobs to the area and, if approved, this scheme would deliver much needed floor space for small and medium sized local businesses and help them prosper.

“Ebbsfleet Garden City is well placed to deliver new jobs and new homes in this part of North Kent.”

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