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Queen’s property firm ready to commence redevelopment of Westgate



Two of the biggest property companies in Britain have confirmed their plans to redevelop an Oxford shopping center.

Westgate Oxford

Land Securities and the Crown Estate stated that work will commence immediately on the 1970s center that is currently on the site and building work will start during spring.  Planning permission was granted in March 2014 and the targeted opening date is 2017.  John Lewis will be the anchor tenant, with stores, such as Schuh, Goldsmiths, Superdry and H&M having committed to stores in the center.  The 800000ft² floor space that is available already has committed tenancy of 28%.

Around 61 flats are to be included in the project, after the developers cut back their previous plans to construct up to 122 homes.  The Crown Estate and Land Securities took possession of the property during 2010. The previous owners, Coal Pension Properties and Capital Shopping Centers obtained planning permission for an extension of the property during 2000.  However, this permission was vetoed by the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, John Prescott.  Mr. Prescott’s decision was overthrown by the High Court, but Capital Shopping Centers decided to withdraw the plans to expand and sold the property.  

Land Securities are owners of 15 shopping centers across the UK, including Trinity Leeds and Bluewater Kent, which was opened during 2013.  The Crown Estate manages land and property for the Queen and holds shopping sites, such as Banbury Gateway Retail Park in Oxfordshire and Regent Street, London, in its portfolio.

The Crown Estate are also managers of the UK’s seabed located within 12 nautical miles of the coastline, which puts management of underwater cables, mining sites and several wind farms in their hands.  
The developers intend creating 1000 construction jobs and 3400 retail jobs at the new center.

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