The £100 million plans to redevelop Charter Place will come before Watford politicians later this month.
Watford Borough Council’s development control committee is set to vote on the regeneration scheme by Intu on Thursday, January 9, after an earlier vote was postponed last year.
Intu, which operates the adjoining intu Watford centre, requested the delay so the scheme could be heard with a second planning application relating to a listed building at 63 High Street, which is also part of the redevelopment.
Prior to the delay, council planners also expressed some concerns about the scheme’s design saying the varied elements were "trying too hard to compete with one another and do not create a coherent whole."
In the new report on the scheme officials said architects had "simplified" the design and recommended it for approval.
A report to the development control committee concluded: "The existing Charter Place Shopping Centre is now outdated by modern retail standards and, as it is, will continue to decline. It will increasingly have a detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre and provide a poor quality visitor experience.
"The application comprises a comprehensive redevelopment of Charter Place to provide a modern centre with new retail floorspace and a mix of restaurant and leisure uses that will significantly enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre and the public realm.
It later added: "Following a formal design review of the scheme by the Shape East Design Panel, a number of amendments have been made to the scheme to simplify and improve certain elements of the design."
The Charter Place redevelopment plans come after Intu secured a 999-year lease from the shopping centre’s owner, Watford Borough Council.
The regenerated Charter Place will have a new 450-seat IMAX cinema, larger shop units, restaurants and leisure facilities.