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Green light for £16.5 million town redesign

PUBLISHED: 16:28 29 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:47 25 August 2010

REDESIGN: An artist's impression of what the town centre could look like.

REDESIGN: An artist's impression of what the town centre could look like.

A SHOPPING mall chain has been chosen to redesign a town centre in a dramatic five-year overhaul. Bexley Magistrates Court and the council s Civic Offices in Bexleyheath are to be demolished and rebuilt by 2014 in plans put forward by The Mall Corporatio

A SHOPPING mall chain has been chosen to redesign a town centre in a dramatic five-year overhaul.

Bexley Magistrates Court and the council's Civic Offices in Bexleyheath are to be demolished and rebuilt by 2014 in plans put forward by The Mall Corporation.

The Mall's designs were selected for the Bexley First project after a consultation in March and are hoped to bring £650 million of investment into the town centre.

Will Tuckley, the council's Chief Executive, said: "Bexley First will enable the Council to deliver improved services for customers and local residents with value for money.

"It will help us transform the way we work to meet people's expectations and has the potential to generate capital investment of up to £160 million and create over 650 new jobs in the local economy."

The plans require the council offices, Central Library and Bexley Magistrates Court to be demolished and rebuilt, and will see the current mall expanded.

A new car park is planned for the former Civic Office site together with hundreds of residential units and retail space.

The move will cost the council £16.5 million, but much is expected to be covered by the sale of council buildings across the borough, centralising its staff of over 8,000 to Bexleyheath.

The £160 million expected to be generated around the borough will come through the future commercial use of old council buildings.

Mr Tuckley added: "The successful completion of the Civic Centre project will open the way for the regeneration of other parts of the borough.

"The sale of assets will pay for the investment in new buildings and the entire programme will deliver considerable financial savings for the borough over the next 25 years."

Bexley First will also see a large development of the Howbury Centre in Slade Green and of Hill View in Welling.

Wyncham House, in Longlands Road, Sidcup is likely to be sold off once staff can be moved to Bexleyheath.

A consultation is due to be held in June on whether to sell the council's listed Georgian registry office, Manor House, in The Green, Sidcup.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

BEXLEYHEATH 2014 AT A GLANCE

-Bexley Civic Offices and Central Library to be knocked down and rebuilt in the car park next to Bexley Magistrates Court

-Former civic office site to be used for a four-storey car park

-Bexley Magistrates Court to be demolished and rebuilt on the Central Library site

-Former Magistrates site to be used for a five-storey shopping block with council offices.

-The Mall will expand its shopping centre by 26,000 square metres

-300 new residential units and 1,130 new parking spaces

-An estimated £160 million to be pumped into the town centre

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