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Bluewater set to expand by a fifth with more than 2,000 jobs to be created

PUBLISHED: 17:58 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:58 22 May 2013

Bluewater Shopping Centre

Bluewater Shopping Centre

G-FONNE PHOTOGRAPHY

Bluewater Shopping Centre is going to expand by almost a fifth despite strong objections from Gravesham Council.

Dartford Council passed the plans last week, which could provide up to 2,300 jobs if they go ahead, but their Gravesham neighbours are worried this could put retailers off coming to the Heritage Quarter, a £120 million project aiming to bring jobs, flats and regeneration to the area.

A Gravesham report in opposition read: “By approving significant floorspace in excess of the planned growth at Bluewater would send entirely the wrong signals to the market and reduce the prospects for securing new retailers in Gravesend needed to bring the Heritage Quarter development forward.”

But Dartford dismissed the concerns and its development control board committee approved outline plans last Thursday (May 16).

Council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite countered: “I am very surprised Gravesham made those points.

“It was only a couple of weeks ago they approved the Heritage Quarter by one vote.

“Now they’re suddenly saying Bluewater expanding by a few shops could cause irreparable damage. I’m very pleased it’s expanding.”

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