Bluewater has revised on-going plans to expand the shopping centre by 300,000 sq ft, which it predicts will create up to 2,300 jobs.
The co-owners of Bluewater, Land Securities, will submit the proposals to extend retail space around the site to councillors this summer and hope to begin work next year. These new plans replace a larger 328,000 sq ft scheme which was approved by Dartford Borough Council three years ago, which would have totally overhauled its West Village, home to Pizza Express and Zizzi.
The latest plans, would add a smaller extension to the West Village for larger stores in sectors like homeware, gardening, sports and leisure as well as adding some more restaurants. The proposals would also allow other retailers around the shopping centre to expand into unused space around the estate.
Bluewater’s general manager Robert Goodman said: “These plans are the exciting next step in Bluewater’s evolution.
“The plans reflect how consumer behaviour has changed, and anticipate how it is likely to do so over the next five to 10 years.
“They are also a response to the predicted significant growth in the local population, and the desire from some of best known brands in the UK and overseas to open statement stores at Bluewater.”
He added: “The plans will bring many additional benefits to Dartford and the wider community.
“Not least of these is a major boost in employment, the provision of additional training to create a mobile and skilled local workforce, and the direct contributions to the local economy through increased business rates.”
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: “I welcome these proposals, which are an important evolution of Bluewater.
“They address the needs of residents, visitors and the business community, and deal with an ever-growing array of competitors.
“The plans have also been devised with the community in mind, as evidenced by the commitment to deliver 2,300 new jobs.”
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