Tesco and Asda are understood to be leading the bidding for a prime development site in the centre of Epsom, Surrey.
Developer Helical Bar has submitted a full planning application to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to build a two-storey supermarket with a total gross retail area of 78,988 sq ft (7,338 sq m) on the site.
A three-storey car park with space for 521 vehicles will also be built above the store.
Catherine Seddon, senior planner at King Sturge, Helical Bar’s property agent, confirmed that Helical had been in talks with retailers. “All the major supermarkets have been told about the site,” she said. Local reports suggest that Asda and Tesco could be eyeing up the site, as a move into the town could be a strategic tactic for both retailers.
Tesco said a move to the town “was not impossible”. It has stores in neighbouring towns Sutton, New Malden and Leatherhead. Asda operates in Burgh Heath and Sutton.
Asda would not say whether it was interested. Naomi Duggen from its property department said: “We never discuss who we are in discussions with for obvious reasons.”
Any new store would face competition from Waitrose and M&S stores in the town centre. A Sainsbury superstore is located a mile from the site.
Beth Brooks