Westfield and Hammerson's £1 billion town centre regeneration project took a step closer towards becoming a reality last night as the Council approved their plans to revitalise Croydon.
The plans mean saying goodbye to the existing Whitgift Centre, recognised over the last few decades as having experienced a notable decline due to a lack of investment. The existing complex will be replaced by a stunning development, converting the area into 1.4 million sq ft of shopping space and leisure facilities with simpler pedestrian access and much more appealing retail and leisure facilities. Between 400 and 600 new homes - of which 15% will be allocated to affordable housing - will be built.
It's a real boost to the local community, creating up to 5,000 new jobs, and transforming the outdated landscape of central Croydon.
Despite some initial concerns around the impact on transport and affordable housing as well as potential parking problems, the council's Strategic Planning Committee unanimously approved the plans at Croydon Town Hall. A large round of applause from the public gallery could be heard as the vote demonstrated the Council's seal of approval.
There are so many positives to the scheme.
Not only will it see an injection of £30m into local transport improvements, but also provide employment and training benefits within the 5,000 jobs it will create.
The next step in the process is to gain approval from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles.
On approval, compulsory purchase orders will then be required before building work could start. Designs for the scheme will be unveiled during 2014 and a start on site is expected in 2015.
The aim is for the scheme to be completed by Christmas 2017.
This truly is great news for Croydon, a fantastic opportunity to place Croydon firmly on the map as a destination of choice for visitors and businesses alike.
It's all about reversing the perceived decline in Croydon's fortunes over the last few decades - the regeneration will become a catalyst for change, a monumental moment in Croydon's history.
Image courtesy of the Croydon Partnership masterplan.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi - me and my gang champion and promote the best businesses in the Croydon and Bromley Boroughs. If you are a local business owner, then we'd love to help you grow your profile, profits and get more business.