The operator of intu Watford has finalised the planning permission for its £100 million scheme to redevelop Charter Place.

Watford Borough Council granted permission for the project last month subject to certain condition being agreed.

Today intu, which runs intu Watford and has secured a 999 lease on Charter Place, said the legal agreements had been secured and it could now make progress on the project.

The company said the broad timeline for the scheme, which will see most of the current centre pulled down and rebuilt, was that construction would start in 2015.

The new Charter Place is scheduled to open in time for Christmas 2017.

Howard Oldstein, general manager of intu Watford, said: "The £100 million investment across both shopping centres in Watford is aimed at transforming what the town has to offer. The redevelopment will create the very best shopping experience and destination for the population of Watford and the surrounding areas to shop high quality brands and spend more of their leisure time"

The scheme promises to transform Charter Place into a new three-story complex with a 450-seat IMAX cinema.

The centre will also have new shops and restaurants and as well as new leisure facilities and a public square area to host events such as street theatre and music shows.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said: "We’re very fortunate that while shopping centre schemes up and down the country are floundering, ours is moving forwards.

"We have an excellent partner in intu, who have shared our aspirations for a town centre cinema, new restaurants and family friendly leisure facilities. The jobs news is excellent too. Watford residents deserve the best, and they’re going to get it."

Intu said the proposed development will create around 1,125 additional new jobs across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and up to 630 temporary construction jobs will be supported during the construction phase.