The transformation of Croydon town centre will begin in 2019 bringing with it up to 7,000 new jobs for local people and 1,000 new homes.
The £1.4 billion redevelopment proposal for the Whitgift Shopping Centre by the Croydon Partnership – the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson – was this evening unanimously given the green light by members of the council’s planning committee. As well as thousands of construction jobs, the exciting mixed use scheme will bring with it thousands of other roles in over 300 shops, restaurants, cafés and leisure facilities including a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley which will cement Croydon’s reputation as one of the best destinations in the capital to live, work and play.
The Partnership’s plans were first granted planning permission in February 2014, but last October an enhanced outline planning application was submitted featuring some key revisions, including more housing, a third level of retail and leisure and a new flagship Marks and Spencer store. Croydon has been working closely with the Croydon Partnership, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and Greg Hands MP the Minister for London, to ensure the scheme continued to progress as quickly as possible. The new retail and leisure facility comes at a time of significant redevelopment in Croydon town centre which includes the £30 million refurbishment of Fairfield Halls.
Councillor Tony Newman, Leader of the Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Croydon and we have been doing everything we can to bring the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre to fruition so local people can benefit from its wealth of offerings, including the creation of 7,000 new jobs. The new homes and the thousands of jobs this development will bring shows investors are rightly confident about Croydon as a place to live, work and spend free time. I am delighted contractors will be on site in 2019 to kick-start the exciting transformation of the heart of our town. I’d personally like to thank the Greater London Authority and Greg Hands MP the Minister for London for their continued support for this project. I’m pleased we have reached this major milestone in the delivery of a world class retail and leisure facility and it’s another step to reinforcing Croydon’s growing reputation as one of London’s top destinations.”
John Burton OBE, Westfield UK/Europe’s Head of Development, added: “The approval of the £1.4 billion plans to redevelop the Whitgift Centre represents a significant milestone for the project and for Croydon. Retail regeneration projects have a proven track record to deliver transformation and regeneration which is evidenced by the £5.25 billion of inward investment planned for Croydon. The positive response from the London Borough of Croydon provides confidence to retailers, investors and the community, enabling the Croydon Partnership to create South London’s best retail, dining and leisure destination and deliver new homes and 7,000 jobs.”
Peter Cole, Chief Investment Officer of Hammerson, commented: “Our goal remains to deliver a world-class retail and leisure destination to attract new visitors to Croydon and enhance economic growth in the town. We are pleased with the level of retail demand which has driven the evolution of the design and layout of the new scheme, and we look forward to progressing our plans and transforming Croydon into one of the UK’s top 10 retail and leisure destinations.”
Greg Hands MP, Minister for London, said: “I am delighted that after convening two meetings of all concerned parties, here at the Department for International Trade, we will now see construction taking place. This major redevelopment of the Whitgift site will bring huge benefits to Croydon and London with thousands of new homes and jobs. This is a great example of local and central government working together with private investors and it shows once again London’s enduring appeal for international investment. As Minister for London I’m delighted to be supporting the project, and seeing it secure planning approval.”