The multi-million pound redevelopment plan for the derelict former dairy site in South Ruislip was approved by Hillingdon councillors at a planning meeting in Uxbridge last night (Tuesday, October 21).
Now the Arla Foods site, in Victoria Road - which has been vacant since the former Express Dairy closed in 2005 - will get an Asda supermarket, an 11-screen Cineworld cinema, five family restaurants, including Nando's, Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito, as well as new housing.
Buildings that have stood empty and derelict for the last nine years were demolished over the summer and now the plan has been approved, developer Citygrove says building work will begin in January 2015.
At the Major Applications Planning Committee meeting, chaired by conservative Councillor Eddie Lavery, a packed out public gallery heard from three petitioners, two in support and one in objection to the plan.
The petition objecting to the development came from Bruno Moore, head of planning for Sainsbury's.
Council planning officer Matthew Duigan explained that officers had to weigh up the benefits of developing the Arla site, against the impact of not getting a new Sainsbury's store, and the benefits of Arla outweighed those presented by the Sainsbury's plan.
South Ruislip Residents' Association had submitted a petition in support of the plan. Vice-chairman Sid Jackson spoke on behalf of the association, which represents around 2,000 residents in South Ruislip.
He said: "We have been making sure that all of our residents and our members of the association have been aware of this application from the out set which has been discussed at every one of our meetings.
"The overall feedback is that about 80 per cent of residents are in favour and we support this plan wholeheartedly. South Ruislip needs redevelopment and needs some leisure facilities for residents."
A further petition in support came from the developer itself, and Citygrove chairman Toby Baines told the committee: "We have secured funding of £100million to re-develop the site and now that buildings have been demolished we will be ready to start building in January with an opening date of Easter 2016.
"536 new jobs will be created, the majority going to people in South Ruislip. I can honestly say the all the local residents and business I have met are in favour of the scheme."
He said the council will receive £2.7million in Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 money which is paid by developers of large projects to be spent on supporting the build, for example, by improving roads to cut down on traffic surrounding the site.
Thirty-one letters of objection had been sent to the council ahead of the planning meeting, mainly in relation to traffic generation at the already congested Victoria Road and Long Drive junction.
But highways officer Syed Shah said with improvements to the surrounding roads which are yet to be finalised - including widening Victoria Road and Long Drive and improving traffic light signalling - he felt the development would not have a severe detrimental impact on traffic.
Due to the scale of the development it will now be sent to the Mayor of London and Secretary of State Eric Pickles before final approval is granted.