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How redeveloped Westgate will transform Oxpens area
THIS is the striking vision of Oxford’s new Westgate Centre.
And from todaypeople can have their say on what the developer behind the £400m scheme has in store.
Gone will be the centre’s existing Bonn Square facade to be replaced by a curved entrance topped by a glazed lantern.
How the shopping centre will look inside
Sara Fuge, development manager at the Westgate Alliance, said: “We are really pleased. We have got fantastic architectural firms and the best people in them working on good quality designs.
“The next step will be them taking on board what we hear during the consultation and reflecting that in the designs where they can.
“It is an important next phase for us and we can make some really good progress. All our architects have done a lot of research into the buildings around Oxford and they have taken a lot of cues from that.”
The facade will be redesigned with a thick wall of rubble stonework and a small brick tower topped with a glazed lantern.
Each of the different buildings in the development will be tied together with a series of bridges and the developers say a number of architectural features – such as the design of the roofs – have been inspired by Oxford buildings and colleges.
The proposed new facade facing Bonn Square
Five architectural firms are working on the scheme including Panter Hudspith, which worked on the redevelopment of Oxford Castle, and Dixon Jones which designed the Said Business School.
Landscape architects Gillespies is working on the public features of the shopping centre, including the pavements.
A public consultation on the scheme starts today at 10am and is being held in the Westgate Centre itself.
The consultation will continue until Wednesday, April 30.
Developers Crown Estate and Land Securities – which have formed the Westgate Alliance – were given outline planning permission for the redevelopment in March which sets out the principal elements of the scheme.
Over the summer they hope to submit a final planning application which will set out the details of their proposals – with construction work to start early next year.
Shopper Anna Platt, 42, from Headington, said: “The centre could do with updating.
“The existing building is not particularly attractive and the spaces are not used very well to my mind.”
Once completed, the shopping centre will have a new underground car park with 1,100 places, a John Lewis department shop, a cinema and 72,000 square metres of new retail space.
"The centre definitely needs to be redeveloped. It has been overdue for a long time. It is very faded and not attracting the right shops" Mike Simm, 64, East Oxford
"The centre is too small for the amount of people that use it and it is a bit run down. I don’t like the current building and I think it is a bit drab." Steve McGrath, 58, East Oxford
"It is quite an old building and to be honest they need some more shops inside. They should have done it a long time ago." Ilona Soumare, 31, Headington
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