Capital Shopping Centres has made a renewed bid to redevelop the Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford.
An earlier application was rebuffed by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, primarily because it failed to integrate with the rest of the city centre.
CSC and development partner LaSalle Investment Management have spent the past two years rethinking their strategy for the city.
They are now adopting a softly-softly approach and, rather than go straight to a new planning application, they have commissioned architects Allies & Morrison and BDP to draw up a masterplan, which they hope will address the concerns raised by the earlier scheme. Only once they have received feedback from the council and other interested groups will they progress to a planning application.
CSC property development director Richard Cable said the plan ‘sets out a clear strategy to ensure any new development is integrated into the surrounding area and takes into account the city’s history’.
The masterplan envisages up to 50 stores in a range of sizes, including smaller units for independent retailers, as well as a number of cafes and restaurants.
Unlike a traditional mall, the units will be in separate buildings, facing onto three new streets running from east to west across the site.
At the same time, the existing Westgate Centre will be remodelled to provide a single-level, covered shopping street running from Bonn Square to Turn Again Lane, culminating in a two-level galleried arcade with a full-line John Lewis department store fronting Thames Street.
Lunson Mitchenall is the property advisor for the Westgate Partnership.