Westfield has started construction work on its latest shopping centre project in Stratford, east London, which will form a big part of the wave of developments being built in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Australian developer has begun work on the£1.5 billion scheme, which it is hoping to open by the end of 2011.

The mixed-use development will cover 180 acres (73ha) and is one of a number of regeneration projects being built on largely derelict land that have been made possible by London’s success in securing the Olympic Games.

Westfield has attracted Marks & Spencer and John Lewis to the scheme already. The latter will open its largest store outside central London at the development.

An estimated 500,000 people a day will visit Stratford during the games.

The scheme will also benefit from transport links being built in time for the Olympics. The plans include links to two tube lines, the Docklands Light Railway, overground services, a high-speed shuttle service to St Pancras and the Eurostar to Paris.

Westfield is also gearing up for the opening of its flagship development in West London. With just over three months to go until its launch, the developer has doubled the number of construction workers on site in order to be ready for the October 30 opening date.