Planners pave way for construction of Crown Estate and Land Securities joint venture

Artist's impression of the Westgate scheme

Artist’s impression of the Westgate scheme

A joint venture between the Crown Estate and Land Securities has won planning permission from Oxford council for its planned £500m Westgate retail development.

The scheme will entail the refurbishment of the existing Westgate centre and the redevelopment of adjacent land to the south, providing over 81,000 sq m of shops, over 30,000 sq m of restaurant and leisure space, and up to 122 new homes.

The joint venture behind the development, called the Alliance, has already secured John Lewis as its anchor tenants and says the development is scheduled to open in 2017.

It will have enough space for 100 shops, and provide two new public squares, a landscaped walkway and new 24 hour pedestrian routes.

The  plans were developed over the last four years by four architects, Allies & Morrison, Dixon Jones Architects, Glen Howells Architects and Panter Hudspith, with the process being overseen by Westgate masterplanners BDP.

Sara Fuge, development manager, Westgate Oxford Alliance, said she was delighted at the news. “We look forward to continue working with Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the local community as we progress with stage two in developing our detailed designs.”

Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, said the need for the development reflected the fact the city’s retail offer had failed to keep pace with the expansion of the local economy. “We are very pleased with the high quality of design and the attention to the environmental impact of the development that Westgate Oxford Alliance has proposed. The creation of new public spaces, a large bike hub and links across to the Oxford Castle development are all very welcome features of the new Westgate.”