Plans for a major extension to Westfield London to make space for a John Lewis department store and propel the centre to the top of the European ranking by floorspace have been given the nod.

Developer Westfield has been granted permission by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to add 828,850 sq ft to the centre, which will include 665,662 sq ft of retail and new space for catering, leisure and residential use.

John Lewis will take the bulk of the retail space to open a four-storey department store at the scheme, its first in West London.

John Lewis property director Jeremy Collins said: “This is very positive news. We are delighted that this significant milestone has now been achieved. We will continue to work closely with Westfield during the next design stage and towards delivery of the shop for 2017.”

With the extra space, Westfield London will become the largest shopping centre in Europe when the overall works are completed. Construction will get underway next year, with a completion date of Christmas 2017.

Westfield director of development Duncan Bower said: “We are delighted that councillors at Hammersmith and Fulham Council recognised the benefits that our £1bn expansion will bring to White City; in the form of 7,800 jobs, new housing and an even greater range of shops and leisure facilities, including the first John Lewis in west London.

“The plans will provide a dynamic and attractive gateway to Shepherd’s Bush town centre in the White City Opportunity Area and is a great example of public-private partnerships working effectively to deliver beneficial regeneration.”