The owners of Brent Cross have received planning permission to regenerate the shopping centre and surrounding areas.

Detailed designs for the £4bn, 1 million sq ft extension will be produced this year for the “biggest investment in the area’s history”, owners Hammerson and Standard Life said.

The two developers amended their existing plans, which included new stores, hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities developed on the current car park, so they include the introduction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the North Circular road, to link the Brent Cross and Cricklewood communities.

Hammerson development director Mike McGuinness said: “Clearly we are delighted with this decision. It is a major step towards the delivery of a thriving new town centre and a complete transformation of the area.

“Brent Cross Cricklewood will bring a significant amount of investment into Barnet, in the form of new homes, new jobs, school facilities, parks and millions of pounds worth of transport improvements. It will also secure the future of Brent Cross, which will become a truly great place to shop, eat, enjoy and spend time, both during the day and into the evening.

“There is still a lot of work to do of course but it is exciting to be able to proceed to the next stage, working with local people on the details of the scheme and creating the best possible future for Brent Cross Cricklewood.”

James Stevens, head of UK development at Standard Life Investments said: “The committee’s decision is fantastic news and a major achievement. There’s still a great deal to accomplish, but we are one step closer to realising our aspirations for a new vibrant urban quarter anchored by a world class retail and leisure offer.”