The joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson intends to create one of the UK’s top 10 shopping and entertainment destinations delivering 5,000 new jobs as well as acting as the catalyst for ongoing wider regeneration of the town.
With a decision expected early next year, main construction would start in 2018 which means existing Whitgift retailers would continue trading through the 2017 Christmas period, with scheduled completion still on course for 2021.
More than 1.5m sq ft of retail and leisure space will be delivered – adopting the key masterplan and design principles from the original consented scheme – but key additions include a third storey of retail and restaurants; a brand new Marks & Spencer store; a covered 24/7 public walkway and provision for up to 1,000 new homes.
Peter Cole, Hammerson’s chief investment officer, said: “Since securing the original consent we have seen an encouraging level of retail demand with Marks & Spencer requiring a new flagship store which has driven the design evolution. Following a successful resolution of the outline application, we will be advancing the detailed scheme designs, while continuing discussions with retailers ahead of undertaking enabling works.”
The submission follows extensive public consultation with the local community, where the updated plans were overwhelmingly well-received by local businesses and residents, with over 90 % of respondents being ‘supportive’ or ‘very supportive’ of the new updated regeneration plans.
John Burton, Westfield’s head of development, added: “The submission of the planning application is an important milestone for the development with the new enhancements primarily driven by retailers’ demand for space in Croydon.
“The opening of the new centre will propel Croydon into one of the top retail, dining and leisure destinations in London and will deliver significant economic and social regeneration.”
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