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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Huge shopping mall plans revealed
Picture of Westfield plans
The Westfield Centre promises a unique shopping experience
Plans for greater London's biggest shopping centre, which could rival the traditional retail districts such as Oxford Street, have been unveiled.

The Westfield Centre in White City, forms part of a massive 1.6bn regeneration project in west London.

The shopping mall will house an atrium for live events, 15 restaurants, shops, 4,500 parking spaces, 265 shops, a cinema and other leisure facilities.

A new Tube station, two bus terminals and a railway will serve the site.

Work has already begun on the centre, which is due to be completed in 2008.

"We want [Oxford Street] to remain competitive, we want the West End to be the number one retail destination
Jace Tyrell
New West End Company

It is at the heart of a major drive to regenerate the area, which also includes a 170m upgrade to the transport network and more than 200 flats in an affordable housing scheme.

Developers estimate that 60% of visitors to the new shopping centre will come by public transport.

Marks and Spencer, Next, Debenhams and Waitrose are among High Street names which have already been signed up.

Those behind the plans for the Westfield Centre say they aim to "break the mould" of dining and entertainment in shopping centres.

Impression of Westfield pavilion
Developers hope to "break the mould" of shopping centres

Michael Gutman, of Westfield London said: "You can come in the morning and get your groceries...go to the gym and have a workout, come back at lunchtime and do your shopping...then come back in the evening and see a movie, sit in a restaurant and have a drink until late.

"That's a unique experience."

Jeremy Baker, marketing lecturer at London Metropolitan University, said footfall figures showed out of town shopping was growing while Oxford Street was stable.

"The danger for Oxford Street is White City will just cream off all the rich people of west London and the medium-income people, and they just won't struggle into Oxford Street," he told BBC London.

There are proposals to give Oxford Street a 1bn overhaul, which could see parts of it pedestrianised and a tram running from end to end.

Jace Tyrell, of the New West End Company, which represents Oxford Street retailers, said businesses were working with planners to improve the street - through which 40% of all London bus routes run.

"Everyone agrees that we need to address Oxford Street now," he said.

"We want it to remain competitive, we want the West End to be the number one retail destination."




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