Development of Westfield’s mixed-use retail and residential extension to its flagship Westfield London shopping centre moved a step closer last night, after Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Planning Applications Committee resolved to grant new planning consent.
The plans include a 73,510 sq m retail and leisure extension to Westfield London, including the first west London John Lewis department store and up to 1,522 new homes over a number of phases.
Outline planning consent was originally granted in March 2012 for the scheme, which forms a major part of the Mayor of London’s White City Opportunity Area. The approved plans were refined last year to deliver the new full line John Lewis department store and an enhanced experience for customers, visitors and future residents by separating the residential from the retail and leisure facilities.
Duncan Bower, Director of Development at Westfield, said: “We are delighted that councillors at Hammersmith and Fulham Council recognise the benefits our £1bn expansion will bring to White City: a very significant number of new employment opportunities, new housing and an even greater range of shops and leisure facilities, including a John Lewis department store. 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.”
The new four-level John Lewis department store, overlooking the new 3.7 acre park, White City Green, close to Wood Lane and White City underground stations, will employ around 600 staff. Westfield, along with neighbouring developers, St James, Imperial, Stanhope and the BBC as well as TFL/London Underground, plans to create a new public space connecting all developments by building over the Central Line tracks and opening up the archways under the Hammersmith & City Line viaduct, whilst also reusing the arches to animate the public realm.
Overall the plans will create up to 7,800 new jobs, with training and apprenticeship opportunities. To maximise local benefit from these jobs, Westfield set up a Jobs and Training Panel in 2012, connecting local community representatives with the Council and local employers. In March 2014, this Panel’s role and membership was expanded to cover the whole of White City, involving other employers in the area such as retailers, St James, Imperial and Stanhope to ensure local residents benefit from all the jobs created in the White City Opportunity Area through construction projects and longer term employment.
Jeremy Collins, property director at John Lewis, 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”.
Westfield continues to invest in its flagship centre, which is 99% let and has attracted over 130 million visitors since it opened in 2008 and generated sales of over £4bn. Further recent investment includes the expansion of Net-a-Porter’s global head office, the addition of KidZania, the award-winning international children’s education and entertainment centre and the launch of Westfield Collect Plus – the first UK shopping centre to offer a click and collect service with luxury change room facilities. The Westfield London expansion will complement the strong retail offer including over 40 luxury retailers housed in The Village and major UK and international brands.
The target programme includes enabling works which are due to start this year and main construction in 2015 with an expected opening of Christmas 2017. Residential will be delivered in number of phases post retailer opening.