UNITS in the shopping centre earmarked for demolition to make way for the long-delayed Northgate development scheme are being advertised on a 10-year-lease.

The Forum shopping centre is due to be pulled down to make way for the development but Legat Owen aims to let the mall’s former TJ Hughes anchor store unit ‘by way of a new 10 year full repairing and insuring lease’.

Rental offers are invited in the region of £300,000 per annum exclusive.

Local authority officials had been in negotiations with commercial partner ING Real Estate for more than 10 years to deliver the major retail project.

But earlier this year Cheshire West and Chester Council announced it had terminated the long-standing agreement and would pursue an alternative vision.

ING hit back claiming the move would cause years of delay when it had been due to submit a planning application this year, with construction scheduled for 2014.

ING spokesman Gerwyn James said: “The process has taken 10 years to get to where we are now so it’s possibly going to be another 10 years.”

ING has closed its information unit in The Forum but Mr James said the company had not given up on Chester. He said the council was preparing a fresh masterplan and it was unclear whether ING’s ambitions may fit into the new vision until it was revealed.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has not commented.