Members of a Bradford Council committee have been able to question the developer over its commitment to the city as more details of its plans for a slightly smaller shopping centre emerged.
A two-phase planning application is expected within a month, as a two-day public exhibition opened today to showcase the altered designs.
The centre now includes two large anchor stores and 75 shops and would see two-storey shops around the outside, single storey in the middle, with three malls in between. It is expected that the name of one of the key larger stores will be revealed shortly.
Councillors asked about links to the city centre and a possible timetable for completion, as well as whether there would be a time limit on any successful planning approval.
Neil Maclure, development executive at Westfield, told the Council’s regulatory and appeals committee, they had spent a lot of time trying to get the plans right, and that the scaled-down version was more deliverable.
He said it was important to work the scheme up with Council planners, as planning permission would help retailers sign up to take space in the shopping centre.
He said: “We are at the early stages of building up confidence among potential retailers in Bradford.
“We are starting again and we have got a positive reponse from retailers but have got to do a lot more work to get them behind us.
“If everything goes well it is possible we could be on site next year but it is dependent on signing up a large number of major retailers and getting a committment from them before we can start.”
Councillors wanted a commitment to use local labour, and Mr Maclure promised to maximise the job opportunities for local people, with 2,500 permanent new jobs expected to be created in the centre itself.
- Read the full story Friday’s T&A