After weeks of rumour and uncertainty the buyer of the Tolworth Tesco site has confirmed it intends to go ahead with the existing planning application to build more than 700 homes.

Earlier this month the Comet announced “retail specialist” Meyer Bergman as the buyer of the Toby Jug site in Hook Rise South near Tolworth station.

Supermarket chain Tesco had tried to build on the land for a decade despite fierce opposition before selling it.

A statement from Meyer Bergman confirmed the purchase and its plans to continue with the previous planning application submitted in March by Tesco for more than 700 homes in a 21-storey tower block.

A Meyer Bergman spokesman said: “We acknowledge the significant work Spenhill [developer] and the project team have undertaken to date and have purchased the site based on the scheme already submitted to the council, as we believe the plans for housing are deliverable and will bring significant benefit to the community.

“We look forward to a decision being made by Kingston Council and to continuing to work with the local community and stakeholders on delivering the proposals as part of our growing residential development business.”

Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis said: “While the name above the door may have changed, the reality is that we are still seeing the same planning application being pursued and this raises concerns for us on a number of levels.

“It is early days yet, but we hope the new owners will engage positively with residents and the council in seeking a development that meets all our expectations for residential development in the area.”

While denied in the past, this development could face a warmer welcome due to the urgent need for housing in the borough after Kingston was named among the worst-performing boroughs for building homes between 2011 and 2014.

But 10 years worth of resentment towards the project may still prove powerful.

Alexandra ward Councillor Richard Hudson said: “To be quite honest the scheme that was being put forward previously was unacceptable. So why with a change of ownership should it suddenly be acceptable? It isn’t.”

Tesco has recently sold off 14 other sites across the south east and in Bath for £250m to Meyer Bergman.

To add to its growing collection of housing stock sites, Meyer Bergman has also bought a Tesco plot in Epsom that has been vacant since 2009 with similar gusto for residential development.