Bellway buys Bexley site from Sports Direct

Bellway is set to build 500 homes in the London Borough of Bexley after acquiring a site from Sports Direct.

The housebuilder recently purchased the 3.7-acre former Bexley civic offices on Bexleyheath’s Broadway, where it plans to build 29,000 sq ft of commercial space alongside the new housing.

Sports Direct will remain involved in the Eastside Quarter development, having been signed up to occupy a 12,000 sq ft store on the site.

Bexley council moved out of the property - formerly known as the Woolwich Building - in favour of newer offices in 2014 after selling the building to Tesco a year earlier.

The supermarket chain backed out of a planned mixed-use scheme that would have included a Tesco Superstore in 2015 and subsequently sold the site to Sports Direct. Under the proposed Tesco scheme, Bellway had been contracted to develop 126 homes.

Ripe for development

Bellway’s new plan is for the scheme to span seven storeys, with the commercial space located on the ground floor. It will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom flats for private sale.

“Bexleyheath is an area ripe for development and where there is a demand for new homes,” said Ian Gorst, managing director of Bellway Homes’ Thames Gateway division. “Bellway is keen to invest in the area, and this particular site is a great opportunity to contribute to the improvements to the town centre.

“Working with Sports Direct, we will deliver a scheme that reflects the council’s ambitions for its current and new communities, new commercial opportunities and high-quality public realm.”

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Linda Bailey, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, added: “We are delighted that, after a number of years sitting empty, a planning application for this key site in our town centre will now be coming forward.

“We have already been very clear with Bellway about our expectations for a high-quality scheme and are encouraged that it shares our aspirations and commitment both for this site and the town more widely.”

Bellway plans to submit a planning application before the end of this month. If approved, construction would start on site in the first quarter of 2018.

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