Plans to create a new 'gateway' to Newton Abbot have taken a step forward after Teignbridge's Executive agreed to take forward proposals to regenerate the town.
A section of Halcyon Road car park has been earmarked as the site for redevelopment which was marketed as a mixed-use development opportunity earlier this year.
Teignbridge will now enter into confidential negotiations with the preferred bidder.
Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council, said: "This is a huge step in the right direction.
"All councillors present were totally on board with what the future holds for Newton Abbot and what it can offer for the district.
"It's a timely intervention given the national picture on the high street is quite challenging so to have four solid bids for Newton Abbot as a destination of choice is highly encouraging.
"People can also already see we are on the ground and active with the work going on in Market Walk Shopping Centre, which is on time and within budget.
"This decision today is an endorsement for the hard work that has been put in over the years and now is the time for action.
"As a major land owner in the town centre, including Market Walk Shopping Centre which it acquired in a multi-million-pound deal in 2016, Teignbridge is able to take a proactive and long-term approach to regeneration.
"The first element is already underway with a £2 million upgrade to public areas and shop facades in Market Walk Shopping Centre, including a new glass canopy over the walkway through from Courtenay Street.
"Full Council approved the investment package in September 2017 and the project is nearing completion.
"Through its adopted Council Strategy and Local Plan, Teignbridge is able to positively influence the future development of its places and meet the various economic and social challenges to deliver real benefits for the district. "
"The masterplan will be exhibited in Newton Abbot town centre on dates to be announced soon.
"Teignbridge will now enter into confidential negotiations with the preferred bidder. Further work is needed on the proposals and will be the subject of more detailed reports to Full Council later this year so all councillors can consider them.
"Any redevelopment work would also need to secure the relevant planning permissions too.
"Teignbridge’s aspiration for Newton Abbot is to draw on its many existing strengths and develop it into South Devon’s premier market town; a place that is pedestrian friendly, has good transport links, increased leisure and retail offers, high quality markets and an enhanced night time economy.
"In February Teignbridge was awarded £2.5million from the government’s Land Release Fund to help realise its ambitions for Bradley Lane, just on the outskirts of Newton Abbot town centre.
"In April Teignbridge announced it had worked with Benbow Group to enable the employer to relocate to a new site in Brunel Industrial Estate, a move that would safeguard skilled jobs and enable
"Teignbridge to take forward its long-term goal to transform Bradley Lane Industrial Estate into a place that offers improved employment facilities, office space and some housing."