Roof extension for Ilford’s shopping centre given planning approval

Plans to expand a shopping centre in the heart of Ilford have been given the green light by the council.

An application for Exchange Ilford to have a roof extension of 1,000 sq m was allowed at a planning regulatory committee meeting at Redbridge Town Hall in High Road, Ilford, on Thursday.

In planning documents, it is revealed the space would be used for a “single retail unit”.

Exchange manager Marc Myers said the plans were not linked with the Olympic Games.

“Of course, the Olympics are a fantastic opportunity for us as a neighbouring borough, but we’d be silly to think of planning anything building-wise on the back of it,” he told the Recorder.

“We are just eight minutes by train from the Olympic site, so we are hopeful that the Games will put Ilford on the map a bit more, and encourage people who might not have been to the Exchange to try it out,” he added.

Mr Myers said he could not reveal whether the Exchange Ilford was in talks with any retailers over the space.

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“It’s simply speculative, the planning application does not mean we definitely will be pursuing anything in terms of the building,” he said.

If a shop were to be built, it would create 10 full time jobs, however, managers at the shopping centre have three years to decide whether or not to build, or permission for the site will be voided.

The plans come the week after a bi-annual survey of Ilford Town Centre showed more people found the town centre cleaner, with increased perceptions of both police presence and safety compared with in June 2011.