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Tesco's Milton Creek site in Sittingbourne is not up for sale

13 February 2014
by Hayley Robinson

Last April, the News Extra revealed how the supermarket was pulling the plug on the development – blaming poor nationwide sales figures and problems getting its plans approved.

A proposed bridge from the shop into the town centre was also withdrawn. However, it is still not clear what the company intends to do with the site. 

Signing of the Spirit of Sittingbourne agreement.

Signing of the Spirit of Sittingbourne agreement in 2012

Rumours have been circulating on social networking sites that the land was up for sale, but the firm says that is not the case.

A spokesman said: “We are looking at options for how we proceed with the site and working with Swale Borough Council. We’re open to talking to anyone who might have an interest.”

Meanwhile, a major player that pulled out of the town’s multi-million pound regeneration project is yet to be officially replaced.

Last month we reported how financial fund manager Altyon Management Ltd will no longer be involved with the Spirit of Sittingbourne Consortium, which is also made up of Cathedral Group and property consultant Essential Land.

The fund manager was selected as Swale council’s development partner in February 2011. But while there is a new partner waiting in the wings, it has yet to be named.

Martin Bellinger, partner at Essential Land, said: “We’ve not announced it yet because the procedure under the development agreement is they have to be agreed by all the parties and that’s not yet occurred.

An artist's impression of how the bridge linking the Tesco store at Milton Creek to the town centre could have looked.

An artist's impression of how the bridge linking the Tesco store at Milton Creek to the town centre could have looked.

“There is an interested parties’ meeting in March and I hope there will be a decision by then.”

The masterplan, which was due to be launched in December, will be unveiled next month along with a model of phase one of the works.

This involves creating a cultural quarter where the railway station forecourt is and building a multi-screen cinema, entertainment venue, restaurants, shops and hotel on The Forum shopping centre car park.

The second phase, off Central Avenue, will see the library and Phoenix House replaced by a new headquarters for Swale council.

It will include a library, community meeting rooms and a gateway centre for public services.

Mr Bellinger says the first outline planning application is also still on track to be submitted in the second quarter of the year.

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