ING Real Estate has won a three-year extension to its planning consent for the long overdue Northgate retail scheme in Chester.
Cheshire West & Chester Council agreed to grant the developer further time to deliver the project but stopped short of the five-year extension sought by ING.
A spokesman for the council said: "Several Members voiced support for the three years recommended, rather than the five requested, as there was a need to provide commercial certainty to businesses occupying and prospectively occupying the land affected."
ING brought Land Securities on board in February 2009 to deliver the scheme in a joint venture.
The retail makeover of the Northgate area has been discussed for more than a decade.
ING was due on site with a £300m, 440,000 sq ft retail scheme in 2007 but the development fell victim to the recession.
A scaled down plan with less public amenities and larger retail units is expected to be revealed by the end of the year.