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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Supermarket helps regenerate town
Artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment
Shops, cafes, restaurants, housing and leisure facilities are planned
A supermarket giant is set to work alongside a council on the multi-million pound regeneration of part of the centre of Tonbridge, Kent.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has agreed to begin negotiations with Sainsbury's over the future of the town's Botany quarter.

A bigger superstore than the present one is planned, alongside shopping, leisure and housing developments.

A plan encompassing the whole of Tonbridge is in preparation.

The Botany area is one of four "quarters" being looked at.

Covering about 5.3 hectares of land between Angel Lane and Avenue du Puy, it currently includes the Angel leisure centre and a Beales department store alongside the Sainsbury's supermarket.

It's an absolute requirement that leisure facilities are replaced and enhanced
Steve Humphrey, Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council

Steve Humphrey, the borough council's director of planning, said: "Sainsbury's has a major land interest in the site and therefore a very influential position.

"They have an aspiration to put a brand new store there and carry out the rest of the development in partnership with us.

"The site is big enough to accommodate the Sainsbury's store and also a fair amount of other retailing."

Mr Humphrey said up to 300 new apartments could be built in the Botany area, with affordable housing and energy-saving elements included.

And he added: "It's also likely a scheme will come forward that means the Angel Centre will go.

"But it's an absolute requirement for the development that those leisure facilities are replaced and enhanced."



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