The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, has received a resolution to grant outline planning consent from the London Borough of Croydon for its upgraded plans for the £1.4 bn redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre.
The plans include over 1.5 million sq ft of retail and leisure floor space with the addition of a third level of retail and restaurants and the incorporation of the Green Park House office site. They also increase the number of homes to be provided, with between 626 and 967 new homes being targeted. Plus an additional 20% (between 125 and 193) affordable homes.
The new homes will be delivered in four or five residential buildings overlooking Wellesley Road. It is anticipated that the first buildings will be developed with the construction of the retail scheme, with the remainder being developed in phases thereafter.
Peter Cole, Hammerson’s Chief Investment Officer, said: “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.”
The project will create up to 7,000 new jobs and continue to stimulate the ongoing wider regeneration of the town.
John Burton, OBE Westfield UK/Europe’s Head of Development, said: “The approval of the £1.4bn 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 £5.25bn of inward investment planned for Croydon. The positive response from 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.”
The partnership is now working towards an earliest commencement of full construction on site in 2019, allowing the Whitgift Centre to continue trading through the important 2018 Christmas period. The decision paves the way for the Partnership to prepare detailed designs for the scheme, to conclude the CPO and the land assembly process and finalise legal agreements with prospective anchor retailers including M&S.