Westfield development comes at a cost
Since opening in October 2008, Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, London now houses over 315 stores and restaurants, has an annual footfall of 42 million and approximately 9,000 people working in the centre. These statistics make it easy to see how the shopping centre, boasting a retail floor area of 1,614,600 square feet, is Europe’s largest urban shopping and leisure destination.
However, it appears that 1.6 million feet is not enough and the Westfield Corporation has now won approval for a extension of an additional 115,000 square feet of retail shops which will include a 3 storey anchor store (the operator of which is, as yet unconfirmed, however is rumoured to be John Lewis). In addition to the shop space, an additional 1,224 build-to-rent homes will be contained across a number of towers (one of which will be 36 storeys high), making this project one of Westfield’s first residential development tests in their worldwide expansion.
Of course, development does not come without cost and the scheme was rejected in December after Newham Council found the development proposal unacceptable due to a lack of “affordable housing”. However, the Council and Westfield seem to have reached agreement and, under a section 106 agreement, a payment of £30 million is now due to Newham.
Barker Gotelee acts for clients in a variety of development matters. For advice or information, please contact us.
Rebecca McCarthy is a trainee solicitor at Barker Gotelee.