LAKESIDE Shopping Centre's £100million leisure plans have been rubberstamped by Thurrock Council's planning officers.

The proposals, which include new bars, restaurants, a hotel and a bowling alley built around a town square, covered street and waterfront space, received the backing of the council's planning committee in January when it gave a "resolution to grant".

Now that outline permission has been granted - and the finer points of the development will be resolved when the centre applies for full planning permission.

Kate Miller, General Manager at intu Lakeside, said: "After such overwhelming public support for our plans, we’re delighted to have received planning consent to invest in the centre’s leisure facilities which will attract more people, from a wider area, and give them a reason to stay at the centre for longer."

Intu hopes its development at Lakeside will offer the local economy a boost by providing up to 1,400 permanent new jobs being created across the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors.

There will be approximately 660 jobs created on site during the two year construction phase.

Building could start as early as 2015, which would mean the leisure development may be open in 2017.