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The Westfield Site Saga
11:10am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
May 1998: Caddick Developments announces plans to build a multi-million pound indoor shopping centre is planned for the site of a huge 1960s block of shops and offices in Bradford city centre.
June 1998: Bradford Councillors approve a development agreement with Caddick.
September 1998: Caddick says it aims to fill 80 shop units and hopes to open the shopping centre in 2001.
October 1999: Members of Bradford Area Planning Sub-committee vote unanimously in favour of the £200 million scheme – despite objections from the owners of two other city centre complexes.
November 1999: Government officials signal they are happy with the scheme and will not be 'calling it in', paving the way for road closure orders to be sought and detailed plans for the shopping centre to be drawn up.
July 2001: Developers say they are in detailed negotiations with a national retailer over a major department store in the scheme and is also about to apply to Bradford Council for orders closing Petergate and Cheapside when it intends to start building the scheme in less than two years.
January 2002: The owners of the Bradford's Kirkgate Centre withdraw their objections to the Broadway shopping centre at the 11th hour as an inquiry begins.
February 2002: Developers vow to press ahead despite regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward pulling the plug on vital funding.
August 2003: After taking over the scheme, developer Stannifer says the development is all set to start as all the funding has now been agreed.
April 2004: An artist’s impression of the new look of the shopping development is exclusively unveiled by the Telegraph & Argus.
May 2004: Two major office blocks in Bradford's Broadway were flattened to make way for the shopping centre.
June 2004: The Broadway shopping scheme was given a major boost after a high-speed decision by Deputy Prime Minster John Prescott not to call an amended planning application in for a public inquiry, which could have delayed the scheme for months.
December 2004: Westfield acquires the Broadway scheme after taking over the parent company of the former owner, Stannifer.
May 2005: Shopkeepers in Broadway receive deadline letters giving them weeks to move out after five years of uncertainty.
June 2005: Westfield put forward a “more achievable” revised scheme.
August 2005: Final compulsory purchase orders issued.
Autumn 2005: Westfield take possession of the Broadway site.
September 2006: Councillor Andrew Mallinson, then executive member for regeneration on Bradford Council, said there was "great confidence" the scheme would start in 2007.
February 2007: Debenhams department store signs up as an anchor store.
April 2007: Tony Reeves, the Council's chief executive, said he expected work to start before the end of 2007.
June 2007: Westfield reveals that it has now paid the majority of compensation money to cover the acquisition of the site through Compulsory Purchase Orders.
October 2007: Marks & Spencer formally signs up as an anchor tenant, following in the footsteps of Debenhams.
November 2007: Machines move on to Broadway to carry out preliminary works to prepare the site for construction work.
May 2008: Next signs up as the third anchor tenant.
November 2008: Westfield holds its National Leasing Launch in Bradford to attract more tenants.
December 2008: Westfield denies rumours that it will not start construction work on site until late 2010.
February 2009: Westfield announces that Broadway construction work will start this year and it will proceed when "appropriate" economic conditions allow.
May 2009: Then Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledges to step in and broker a summit meeting in a bid to get plans moving again.
October 2009: Bradford Council says stalled progress on the development is down to the recession and not developers Westfield.
April 2010: Work starts to turn the Westfield building site into a temporary 'urban garden'.
November 2010: Peter Miller, then Westfield chief executive officer, says the developer remains passionate about Bradford during a visit to the city.
May 2011: Westfield says it is poised to restart the Broadway scheme and is back in talks with retailers to let shop space.
June 2011: Westfield reveals it is about to submit a revised planning application and reveals it hops to be back on the site in the first half of 2007.
July 2011: Marks & Spencer commits to becoming one of the two large anchor stores in the revamped plans, with a 60,000sq ft store.
August 2011: A two-phase planning application is submitted by Westfield in what is the next step for revamped designs the development. Key changes include a reduction in the number of shops from around 100 to 75 with a reconfiguration of the units to create a greater proportion of larger stores, and a reduction in parking spaces from 1,800 to 1,350.
October 2011: Detailed plans for the first phase of the development are approved unanimously by Bradford Council's regulatory and appeals committee and members agree to outline plans for offices and apartments, the details of which must be finalised within seven years.
October 2011: Debenhams announces it will open a new store on Broadway, Bradford, within three years and create 200 jobs.
November 2011: Westfield bosses say they are aiming to start work on the delayed £275 million Broadway retail mall 'in the not too distant future' but cannot give a date.
May 2012: Protesters, calling themselves Occupy Westfield, set up camp on the Westfield site demanding a public inquiry into how the city has been left “devastated by the developers and the Council”.
July 2012: Occupy Westfield moves off the site after developer Westfield was granted a court order to evict them.
August 2012: Westfield reaffirms its commitment to Bradford, despite the company's chief executive telling a Sunday newspaper it might sell the site.
September 2012: Debenhams signs a deal to extend its store to three levels and will now take 117,000 sq ft of floor space at the development - an increase on its original plan to open a 100,000 sq ft store over two levels.
October 2012: Westfield executives were told Bradford has a "hole in its heart" which cannot heal until the development is complete during a Bradford Council regeneration and economy overview committee. Councillors were also told there is no "Plan B" if the deal falls through during the progress report.