Westfield will today attempt to end its long-running dispute with retailers over service charges at its new London shopping centre with news that it will cut fees by 7%.
The developer will tell retailers that it has decided to cut service charges from £13.94 a sq ft to £12.98, after falling out with tenants over its decision last year to increase fees sharply days after the £1.6bn centre opened. Some tenants were so incensed that they refused to pay part of the annual service charge.
However, Westfield may still have a fight on its hands, with one retail chief executive saying yesterday that the cut was nowhere near enough to placate disgruntled shopkeepers, who were originally told to expect charges of about £8.50 per sq ft.
The executive said the figure quoted by Westfield was still about 40% higher than he would expect and it was likely that his company would dispute that level of charge.