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Ruling is an 'important milestone' says Westfield
Amended plans went before Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee yesterday with members being told Debenhams wanted to increase its sales floors from two to three. This was a welcome improvement of the retail offering, councillors heard.
There would be no changes to the ground and first-floor configuration, but it does result in a loss of car parking spaces. Officers recommended that the changes be passed and members of the committee unanimously agreed.
Councillor Imran Khan (Lab, Bowling and Barkerend), asked Neil Maclure, of Westfield, when building would start work. Mr Maclure responded by repeating an announcement made in October that work was expected to start on the £260 million shopping centre in the second half of this year.
Councillor Doreen Lee (Lab, Keighley East) said: “It’s really about time we could shop in the city of Bradford instead of having to travel to the city of Leeds. All I can say is that it is Westfield and the retailers that are losing out. Get on with it please.”
In October a deal designed to kick-start the project was also confirmed – that the site was being sold to a specialist real estate investment management firm, London-based Meyer Bergman.
It involves Meyer Bergman owning the site and appointing Westfield to develop, design, construct and lease the new shopping centre.
Duncan Bower, Westfield director of development, said: “Obtaining planning permission for an expanded Debenhams store is another important milestone and demonstrates confidence of further investment. We continue to experience strong retailer demand for this retail opportunity and expect to announce new retailers to join Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Next in the coming months.”