Dover District Council has approved plans for the biggest regeneration of Dover’s retail centre which it hopes will kick-start a regeneration of the ailing Kent port town.

The council last night approved plans submitted by developer Bond City and retailer ASDA to create an 85,000 sq ft (7,900 sq m) food store with a further 35,000 sq ft (3,260 sq m) of additional shop and restaurant space. The £50m scheme will also include a 60 metre communications tower, a100-bedroom hotel, 53 affordable homes, and a new 600 space car park. (Property Week regional feature 02.03.07)

Bond City, a subsidiary of Stonehurst Estates, has secured Asda as anchor store and the hotel is pre-let to Travelodge. It says the scheme will provide more than 500 jobs. It is expected work will begin on site early next year.

Clive Lynton, a director of Bond City, said: ‘The town has been neglected in the past two decades while places such as Folkestone have been improving rapidly...with the retail going into a downward spiral more and more people have seen Dover as a place to pass through, rather than to stay. This is a renewal scheme that is long overdue.’