ambitious plans for a £300million extension to Glasgow's Buchanan Galleries will take a step closer next week.

City councillors will pave the way by approving legal steps that will allow Compulsory Purchase Orders to be used if traders facing eviction refuse cash compensation deals.

The council's executive committee is expected to give the go-ahead at a meeting on Thursday.

That will bring the retail project a step closer to reality, with council bosses saying approval will allow building work to begin early in 2015, with construction ending before the Christmas rush in 2016.

The extension is part of the Buchanan Quarter project, which will attract £310m of private investment, create 1500 jobs and generate an extra £36m into Glasgow's economy.

It will provide a new car park for 1500 vehicles and also trigger £80m of improvements to the area, including new public realm work.

The plans for the Galleries include building a 700,000 sq ft space for shops, 15 restaurants and a multiplex cinema.

The existing Buchanan Galleries, which is about 600,000 sq ft and has 90 shops, will be refurbished as part of the development.

Bailie Liz Cameron, the council's spokeswoman for jobs and the economy, said: "The city is fortunate in being the UK's biggest retail centre outside of London's West End.

"But to remain in this position we have to be innovative and the scheme is just that.

"Making the Compulsory Purchase Orders powers available - while they may not be used - is a necessary part of the process to deliver the Buchanan Quarter scheme, a project that will bring tremendous benefit to the people and businesses of Glasgow."

Existing traders will be replaced when the shopping mall is reconfigurated and expanded.

The developer is already in talks with the traders in an attempt to reach deals, which are expected to include the offer of alternative retail space.

Hopes are high agreements will be reached without the need to enforce any compulsory purchase orders.

Buchanan Street attracts more than 90million shoppers every year.

A £70m retail development directly opposite the galleries was opened earlier this year. It introduced upmarket apartments to the area and a string of stores that created more than 200 jobs.