Kent

Dartford homes plan for 'blighted' Tesco site

Lowfield Street artist's impression Image copyright Meyer Homes
Image caption The Lowfield Street plans include 500 one, two and three bedroom homes

A site which became derelict after it was bought by Tesco but never developed could become a 500-home development.

Meyer Homes, which bought the Lowfield Street site from the supermarket giant in October, is in discussions with Dartford Borough Council.

Consultant Rebekah Paczek said Meyer wanted to build one, two and three-bedroom homes.

Council leader Jeremy Kite said the site needed a workable scheme and urged people to keep an open mind.

'Blighted site'

The area has been earmarked for regeneration since 2001.

A scheme for a Tesco store with flats above was rejected following a public inquiry in 2005.

The supermarket was eventually given planning permission in November 2011 but it announced it was shelving its plans in January 2015, along with those for 48 other very large supermarkets.

"It is a blighted site and has been for a long time and we want to do something about that," said Ms Paczek.

"We are putting forward something that is actually going to be deliverable and is responding to a need in Dartford.

"Increasingly people want to live in town centres and it creates a much more vibrant environment."

Hoardings along Lowfield Street have now been decorated with street art.

Image caption Many shops were boarded up while Lowfield Street awaited redevelopment

Mr Kite said the redevelopment of Lowfield Street had been a "horrible saga".

"It was a nightmarish experience that has left a real scar," he said.

"Working with Meyer Homes is a world of difference. Everything so far seems to be going much better."

Preliminary plans for Lowfield Street will be on show at the Dartford Festival at the weekend and in an exhibition at the Civic Centre on 20 July.

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