Outline planning permission has been granted for a long delayed £500 million retail led redevelopment in Oxford that will create 600 construction jobs a year during the project as well as 3,400 permanent new jobs.
Oxford City Council has granted permission to the Westgate Alliance, a joint venture between the Crown Estate and Land Securities, for the scheme which has been under consideration since 1988 but repeatedly delayed. Planning permission for a redevelopment was granted in 2007 but was not implemented.
Work is now expected to start on the three year construction project later this year with demolition of the southern part of the existing Westgate Shopping Centre, its multi storey car park and 14 adjacent homes.
Westgate Alliance says it is creating a world class retail and leisure destination with the development in Oxford’s West End. It will provide some 800,000 sq ft of new retail spaces, with John Lewis already signed up to anchor the scheme with a large department store.
The development will comprise four separate buildings on a 14 acre site, including refurbished parts of the existing 1973 built Westgate Shopping Centre, with around 100 shops and 122 homes, a cinema, restaurants, a 1,000 space basement car park and a rooftop terrace and restaurant. There will also be covered streets, new pedestrian walkways and pubic open spaces.
BDP architects have produced the development’s masterplan and four architects have been appointed to design the individual buildings to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status – Glen Howells, Panter Hudspith, Dixon Jones and Allies and Morrison. Others in the construction team include Mace who are doing project planning, Davis Langdon as cost consultant, Waterman as structural engineer and Hoare Lea as utility and service engineers.
Oxfordshire County Council leader Cllr Ian Hudspeth said: “The Westgate development is a catalyst for growth across the city, particularly in the West End. It will be accompanied by major improvements to the city centre transport network and enhancements to the city’s popular central library.”
Artists Impression: Westgate Alliance