ebbsfleetplanredIn an astonishing gaffe yesterday, Conservative Chancellor George Osborne went on live national BBC television to announce the Government decision to build a 15,000 ‘Garden City’ on what North Kent Flood Management has described as an area with ‘extremely severe tidal flooding consequences’. Coming as it does just weeks after the appalling consequences of the Somerset levels flood, the decision will be hard for the British public to understand.

The Chancellor George Osborne says there will be a new garden city in Ebbsfleet in Kent. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr he said that the government’s initial plan was to build 15,000 new homes in the area.

Well, here’s something Mr Osborne may have missed during this week’s buildup to a triumphant Budget speech: Ebbsfleet was designated – long before last month’s flooding disasters – as an area of high flood risk.

He told us that this would be ‘the first new garden city for a hundred years’. If he’d bothered to ask North Kent flood management, they could’ve told him why the last place to build it is in the Ebbsfleet & Dartford region.

Back in 2009, Kent issued its North Kent Rivers Catchment Management Plan. In doing so, it divided North Kent into low, medium and high risk flood plain areas. This is what it said about Ebbsfleet as a housing development area:

ebbsfleet1ebbsfleet3This was its recommendation for the next 86 years of housing development:

ebbsfleet2Read that and weep: 189 new houses. But the Chancellor wants to build 15,000 on this high-risk site. And in the detail of the Report, it doesn’t get any better for Skim-Reader Osborne:

ebbsfleet4ptnetClearly – given the consequences of ignoring previous flood plain warnings – George Osborne has a learning difficulty. Or a near megalomanic sense of superiority. The folks in Kent could not have laid it out more clearly:ebbsfleet5ptnetSome lessons I would’ve thought people across the political spectrum might take from this:

* The Chancellor is a flake

* Whatever else you do, don’t buy a house in Ebbsfleet

* Osborne’s researchers are sloppy idiots who deserve to be summarily fired for this gigantic clanger

* The Conservatives truly do not GAF about the risks to any UK citizens: all they care about is power, and the inflow of donations from their mates – eg, the construction indiustry. This applies every bit as much to the Labour Party….who have thus far over the last ten days failed to deconstruct a single Tory lie about everything from economic recovery to Britain’s attitude to the Ukraine. (And to date, are clearly utterly unaware of Osborne’s flood-plain cock up).

* Ergo, Britain does not have a competent or committed Opposition Party.

* Britain also lacks a media set either able or willing to critique government policy. The Sun yesterday:


Says it all, really.

Tomorrow: lets get Flood Plain Building says daft fr*cker Dan Hannan