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Bradford Council studies status of shopping scheme
A new report examining the status of the Broadway shopping centre development reveals that developer Westfield must apply to alter its current planning permission to allow Debenhams to expand its anchor store in the scheme.
Bradford Council’s regeneration and economy scrutiny committee asked regeneration officers to provide a report ahead of a special scrutiny committee meeting given over to the long-running development.
Chairman of the committee, Councillor Andrew Mallinson, previously told the Telegraph & Argus: “We need to understand if they have got confidence in the current scheme or will there need to be further alterations, and what the potential timescale would be.”
Now the report, ahead of the committee meeting on Thursday, reveals that in order for Westfield to expand the Debenhams store by an extra 17,000 square feet it must make an application to the Council. In addition, by creating additional retail space at third-floor level, this will involve the loss of 45 spaces in the car park.
Debenhams is one of two anchor tenants, the other being Marks & Spencer, who have signed up to the scheme.
The Council’s strategic director of regeneration and culture, Barra Mac Ruairi, states in the report: “It is recognised that the opening of the Westfield shopping centre will impact on the retail offer in other parts of the city centre when some current city centre retailers relocate to the Westfield development. This will, however, provide opportunities for new retailers, including additional ‘meanwhile’ uses.
“Further city centre public realm enhancements, a fully responsive planning system, targeted public investment, superfast broadband and city centre wi-fi will also improve the wider retail environment.”
It also emerged that an Apprenticeship Training Agency, which the Council is looking to set up with the help of Bradford College, could be used to create a recruitment and training package to ensure local people can take advantage of any job opportunities both during the construction phase and when the centre is up and running.
The report also states that an agreement with arts development group Fabric, which co-ordinated any events in the temporary Bradford Urban Garden on part of the Westfield development site, has been terminated.
Anyone wanting to organise an event on the site should go through the Council instead. Representatives from Westfield are expected to attend the meeting, in City Hall, Bradford, at 1pm.