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Stalled Brent shopping centre plans given a kick start
STALLED plans for a shopping centre regeneration in Brent have taken a step forward with confirmed interest from a major food retailer.
Development Securities secured planning permission for redevelopment of the former Oriental City site, Edgware Road, near Dollis Hill, after purchasing it in 2005.
But since then, the recession has seen the project deemed "not deliverable".
It was set to become a mixed-use, retail and residential redevelopment of nearly 1 million sq ft, but now developers are drawing up new plans on a smaller scale.
But this week retail giant Morrisons have given the project a major boost by confirming that it will occupy an 80,000 sq ft retail space.
Development Securities are now preparing the new plans, which they hope to push forward to public consultation in the next few months, before applying for planning permission.
The scale and details of the new design is yet to be confirmed, but Morrisons and an Oriental themed retail section are set to be a part of it.
Matthew Weiner, executive director at Development Securities PLC, said: "The deal with Morrisons is a significant step forward in being able to regenerate this important site on the Edgware Road. Our original scheme, which already permits food retailing, was regrettably stalled by the recession. What we are proposing now will give the site a new lease of life and, although smaller, is deliverable with the inclusion of the Morrisons.
"The completed development has the potential to create a total of over 400 jobs. It will provide more shopping choice locally, help meet local housing needs and reintroduce an Oriental and Far Eastern retailing destination to the site."
Richard Haynes, development executive at Morrisons, said: "Morrisons is actively investing in new sites across London and the UK and is one of the most committed development partners in the market today. We are delighted to have concluded a deal which will enable us to bring Morrisons' high-quality fresh food offer and exceptional value to Brent.
"We look forward to working with Development Securities on a scheme that works well for the local community, generates significant employment for the area and delivers shopping choice."
Subject to planning permission being granted by the council for the revised plans, redevelopment of the site could start in 2013 and be completed by 2014.
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