The long-awaited regeneration of High Wycombe has moved a step closer with Wycombe District Council's decision to grant Stannifer permission for its 635,000 sq ft (59,000 sq m) Project Phoenix scheme.
Stannifer has won consent to create 345,000 sq ft (32,050 sq m) of retail space in the Buckinghamshire town, including a new department store, linked into the existing Octagon Centre.
Also included in Project Phoenix is 100,000 sq ft (9,300 sq m) of leisure space, as well as a public library, transport interchange and new homes.
Earlier plans by Dutch developer MAB to extend the town's retail offer collapsed in 2001. Stannifer's attempts to revive the project were challenged by both LxB, which had its own plans for a larger scheme, and by Tesco, which objected because the Stannifer proposals did not include provision for a new foodstore.
Work could start on site next year, with the new centre scheduled to open in the spring of 2007.