The £400m redevelopment of the Westgate Centre has passed its first hurdle and won the approval of Oxford City Council officers.

Officials have said the redevelopment should be supported but it will still need to receive the backing of councillors at a planning committee next week.

Once complete the shopping centre will feature a 10,000sq m John Lewis store as well as cafes, restaurants, shops and a cinema.

If approved on Tuesday the developer – the Westgate Alliance – hopes to begin construction work at the end of this year, bringing an end to 15 years of waiting.