The world's largest owner of shopping centres Westfield is to reduce its service charge by 10% across all its established centres.

Westfield told Property Week that it will reduce 2009 service charges by around 10% across in time for the quarter days bills on 25 March.

It said the reductions have resulted from a detailed review and reassessment of all original 2009 budget assumptions, and follows on from a decision by Westfield to freeze quarter one billings at 2008 levels pending completion of the review.

Westfield has been under increasing pressure to review its service charge following a backlash from retailers at its newly opened Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherds Bush.

Many retailers were outraged to receive a service charge bill that had increased twice since they originally agreed terms and the latest service charge was had risen to £19/sq ft.

It is thought the service charge had risen from an initial estimation of £8/sq ft to £14/sq ft (as revealed by Property Week 10/10/08) and then again to £19/sq ft.

It is thought the latest move by retailers angry at the charge, who had already been seeking legal advice, is to not pay the service charge until the dispute is resolved.

It is thought at least three retailers have refused to pay service charge at the 1.6m sq ft centre.

Westfield said its charges at Westfield London are still under review but in the meantime it has reduced service charge at its established centres, where as Westfield London is only four months old.