Plans approved for Westgate Centre redevelopment in UK

12 March 2014 (Last Updated March 12th, 2014 18:30)

Oxford City Council in the UK has approved plans for a £500m redevelopment of the Westgate Centre and the adjacent land.

Westgate Centre

Oxford City Council in the UK has approved plans for a £500m redevelopment of the Westgate Centre and the adjacent land.

The application was submitted by Westgate Oxford Alliance, a joint venture between the Crown Estate and Land Securities.

Designed by architectural firm BDP, the retail-led mixed-use development will have a John Lewis store as its anchor tenant.

The redevelopment will extend and refurbish the existing centre to create new shops, restaurants, cafés, public areas, homes and leisure uses, including a cinema set in a mix of covered streets, arcades, lanes and squares.

With a series of new spaces and pedestrian-friendly streets, the redevelopment will feature about 100 new shops, between 27 and 122 new homes, a two-storey basement car park and bicycle locking spaces.

The project will have a landscaped walkway along Castle Mill Stream and a re-routed bus priority lane along Thames Street, Abbey Place and Castle Street.

"An early start of the construction work will give a huge boost to local jobs."

Plans also include the creation of two major public squares to provide east-west pedestrian routes connecting Castle Quarter to Turn Again Lane, and Old Greyfriars Street to Oxford and Activate Learning (City of Oxford College), and an additional north-south pedestrian route through the site.

The design will be progressed and led by BDP with architectural firms Allies & Morrison, Dixon Jones Architects, Glen Howells Architects and Panter Hudspith.

The alliance will consult on the detailed designs this spring, with a planning application submitted later in the year.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said the redevelopment of the Westgate Centre is long overdue and the retail offer has failed to keep pace with the expansion of the local economy.

"We look forward now to receiving the detailed designs for the four blocks and an early start of the construction work that will give a huge boost to local jobs," Price said.

Westgate Oxford Alliance development manager Sara Fuge said: "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."


Image: The Westgate Centre redevelopment will create new shops, restaurants, cafés, public areas and homes. Photo: courtesy of Land Securities.