OXFORDSHIRE County Council officially approved its response to the Westgate planning application yesterday.

The council’s cabinet had been asked by officers to sign off the response to the £400m shopping centre re-development because of its scale. County council officials have come out in support of the scheme but say developers, the Westgate Alliance, should pay for a number of projects including expanding park-and-rides and local schools.

One of the issues raised by the cabinet was whether the amount of parking planned for the development would be sufficient.

The proposed underground car park would have 1,100 spaces – nearly 100 fewer than the car parks it replaces.

A final decision on the scheme will be made by Oxford City Council at a public meeting on March 11.