Could Royal Victoria Place get a supermarket?

Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells are some of the top towns for home improvement

A town centre supermarket and revised entrance to Royal Victoria Place are on the wish list of Tunbridge Wells Civic Society.

The group’s Chairman, Brian Lippard, hopes both projects might become a reality as the centrepiece shopping mall is set to be sold for £96million by Hermes to British Land.

Questions still remain, however, as to if and how the leading developer will look to deliver a £70million expansion that could see more shops and a cinema.

Royal Victoria Place has submitted a separate planning application to enhance the front of the centre at Fiveways.

Mr Lippard said: ‘If the Fiveways entrance is felt in need of an upgrade, then we feel sure that British Land can achieve a more pleasing improvement on the recent proposal, which showed no respect to its setting in scale, materials or detail.

‘We couldn’t see any practical reason for a giant window larg-ely backed by a solid brick wall.’

British Land is a big name in the retail world and owns the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.

‘Given that developing multi-let retail sites is a key part of British Land’s strategy, we are confident in their ability to deliver a mixed shopping and leisure experience,’ added Mr Lippard.

‘We see time as being of the essence, and hence hope they can utilise much of the existing planning application.

‘Further, we would like to see as many as possible of the existing external facades retained.

‘In particular, we hope the Friendly Societies Hall will be refurbished with public access.’

He added: ‘It is interesting to note one of British Land’s recent developments, Whiteley in Fareham, is anchored by a 60,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer and a 35,000 sq ft Tesco.

‘Might we see a supermarket open in Royal Victoria Place?’

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