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Superstores to battle for town centre site

National supermarket and shopping chains are lining up for battle over a prime site in Bexleyheath.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Asda and The Mall have all shown an interest in developing the town’s civic office site.

The council has refused Tesco’s first offer exclusively for a superstore.

Cllr Colin Campbell said: “There have been a dozen major companies and several major developers that have presented us with some very advanced plans – some with significant amounts of housing.”

The site is being sold off as part of the council’s Bexley First programme, under which the local authority is trying to centralise its resources.

Once the council has short-listed three suitable sets of plans for the civic offices it will begin a public consultation.

Cllr Campbell admitted the programme is a month behind schedule but assured the ‘decanting’ of staff and equipment was under way. “Everyone has been briefed as to where they are going.”

The council currently occupies 11 different sites, including the civic offices. Antiquated buildings and ICT systems are said to be the driving force behind the move, which will also see the council make an estimated £17million from the sale of its assets.

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