Retail Property - CSC looking to heal differences over Westgate

Capital Shopping Centres will seek to resolve concerns over the design of the£230 million redevelopment of Westgate shopping centre in Oxford to ensure the project goes ahead.

The High Court recently dismissed earlier Government opposition to the planned redevelopment, which would double the size of the centre to 48,300 sq m, and is seen as impacting on the city's skyline.

The scheme will now be reconsidered by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's staff, who could still, despite the High Court's decision, decide not to back to scheme.

CSC development director Richard Cable said: 'We envisage holding discussions over the next few months with the Government Office for the Southeast, the city council and other interested parties to review design changes.'

Oxford Preservation Trust has provided the main opposition to CSC's plans for Westgate. 'There is a very large retailer demand in Oxford and not a lot of supply,' said Cable.

If the design issues can be resolved, Westgate could start on-site at the end of next year, Cable said.