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Alfred McAlpine and Holst contest £40m deal

CONTRACTS DARTFORD

TWO FIRMS are going head-to-head for a £40 million mixed-use project in Kent.

Alfred McAlpine and Norwest Holst have both been lined up for the proposed scheme, called Dartford Park. A bid from Balfour Beatty has been dropped by developer Prologis.

A Prologis spokesman said: 'We are hoping to make a decision within two months but at the moment we are still finalising a planning agreement with Dartford Borough Council.'

The preferred contractor will carry out infrastructure work and build commercial and industrial buildings at the site, which is close to junction 1A of the M25.

As well as a business park, the development will also house an urban village with 1,500 homes, a primary school, a hotel and community centre plus greenfield space. Prologis plans to link the park with Dartford town centre and the nearby Bluewater shopping centre as part of a huge infrastructure project to improve public transport in the Kent Thameside area.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: 'The plan is to link stations at Dartford, Greenhithe and Gravesend and it is important Dartford Park fits into that.'

Last week the council advertised for bidders to build a 5 km-long bus route to run between Home Gardens in Dartford and Bluewater.

The scheme, expected to be worth around £10 million, will require works to existing carriageway and construction of a new busway.

The council will send out tenders in November.