Plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of Peterborough's Serpentine Green shopping centre have taken a major step forward.
The proposals for the £45 million redevelopment and modernisation of the centre's southern end have just been submitted to Peterborough City Council for approval.
The plans include the creation of a new town square, restaurants and leisure facilities such as a climbing wall.
It follows the first phase of British Land's £7million investment into the northern end of the centre.
A spokesman for British Land, which owns the centre, said: "A two-day public exhibition in June revealed a very high level of local support for the plans, with over 800 local people attending.
"And 94 per cent of respondents supported the proposals and the remaining six per cent were undecided.
"Shoppers, stakeholders and local residents also strongly welcomed Serpentine Green’s aspirations to become a more outward looking centre, better integrated with the surrounding community."
British Land estimates that once finished, the new development will create more than 250 jobs in addition to more than 300 new jobs during construction.
David Wait, Serpentine Green Centre manager, said: “I would like to thank everyone who attended the public exhibition and provided us with their feedback.
"We are extremely pleased with the response to the public consultation and are excited to move our proposals forward to the next stage.
"We look forward to continuing to work with Peterborough City Council and the local community as the plans are progressed.”
John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: "Having reviewed the plans in depth I would like to advise of the full support of the Chambers of Commerce of this excellent additional development at Serpentine Green.
"It will not only be a really welcome enhancement of the facilities for existing and future residents, but is a most positive outward sign of the confidence in the economy of Peterborough and the future growth expectations.”
Bryan Tyler, disability manager with Disability Peterborough, said: “I welcome these proposals and have been very impressed by British Land, who are working extremely hard to make sure these exciting new plans are as accessible and inclusive as possible."
Submission of the application follows completion of the first phase of the centre investment plans with news stores for Next, Costa and Thomas Cook now open for business.
In addition, 1,100 solar panels have been installed as part of the £7million extension.
The solar panels cover 19,500 sqft, equivalent to nine tennis courts and will generate around 275,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year; enough to power 85 homes for a year.