Shopping centre giants want to transform the face of Croydon

Kingston Guardian: Westfield would invest £1 billion in the Whitgift redevelopment Westfield would invest £1 billion in the Whitgift redevelopment

Shopping centre giants Westfield have thrown down the gauntlet to rivals Hammerson promising to invest £1 billion redeveloping the Whitgift Centre.

At a strategic planning meeting last night John Burton, director of development at Westfield said the company could transform the face of Croydon, create up to 4,000 new jobs and create a legacy that would restore the town as one of London’s retail hubs.

During a 20 minute presentation the Australian company said they would demolish the centre to create a cinema, bowling alley and 125,000 sqm of retail space, designed around two new pedestrian walkways linking North End and Wellesley Road and Poplar Walk and St George Street.

Architect Bob Allies, from Allies and Morrison, said Westfield’s plan would also include four residential towers along Wellesley Road, the highest reaching 160 metres tall, and car parking along the top level of the new layout, which centres the retail around a central open air crossroads.

Mr Burton said: “Our plan will change the face of Croydon. Westfield and the Whitgift Foundation are totally committed to develop this at the earliest possible opportunity. Our investment in Stratford City was set against the back drop of the global recession. Our track record has shown when we say we want to do something we do it.”

He said the store would not only cater for high end retail but there would be detailed market analysis to bring the right stores to Croydon and Westfield would look to employ local unemployed and offer training schemes to develop staff.

He said “In Stratford in terms of the 9,000 jobs something like 3,000 local unemployed were found their first jobs.”

Mr Burton also hinted that the company would invest heavily in the surrounding road network to improve transport into Croydon.

He said: “We have done a lot of work with TFL looking at the Gyratory and also how we may settle the issue of Five Ways which is long overdue.”

The pre-application plans are a direct challenge to Hammerson, who chosen developer by the majority leaseholders of the site RLAM and IBRCAC.

Hammerson, who own neighbouring Centrale, are yet to submit plans for the Whitgift.

Related

War declared over Whitgift

Westfield and Hammerson fight for Croydon

Comments (10)

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9:53am Fri 18 May 12

ANNE MILES says...

We shop in the Bromley Glades or in Sutton now, much more nicer and cleaner.
We shop in the Bromley Glades or in Sutton now, much more nicer and cleaner. ANNE MILES
  • Score: 0

10:51am Fri 18 May 12

Mr Strings says...

Yes please. The big brand of Westfield would bring people in from a huge catchment area and hopefully raise Croydon's profile a bit too. Needs something drastic like this.
Yes please. The big brand of Westfield would bring people in from a huge catchment area and hopefully raise Croydon's profile a bit too. Needs something drastic like this. Mr Strings
  • Score: 0

11:14am Fri 18 May 12

atownsend says...

The high street is dead, long live the SUPER MALL!!!

It's a long road before the doors open in what? 2020?
The high street is dead, long live the SUPER MALL!!! It's a long road before the doors open in what? 2020? atownsend
  • Score: 0

11:29am Fri 18 May 12

squired says...

Well, Croydon needs something big and ambitious. This certainly fits both of those categories. I can't wait to see what the other lot propose.

My assumption is that the Whitgift Foundation will have chosen the option that is best for Croydon and the leaseholders the one that will make them most profit, but I wouldn't be upset if I turned out to be wrong. So, lets see what the alternative is.

I just worry now that the battle over the development will drag on like the ill-fated arena and come 2020 we will be no closer to a potential revival in Croydon.
Well, Croydon needs something big and ambitious. This certainly fits both of those categories. I can't wait to see what the other lot propose. My assumption is that the Whitgift Foundation will have chosen the option that is best for Croydon and the leaseholders the one that will make them most profit, but I wouldn't be upset if I turned out to be wrong. So, lets see what the alternative is. I just worry now that the battle over the development will drag on like the ill-fated arena and come 2020 we will be no closer to a potential revival in Croydon. squired
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 18 May 12

ArfurTowcrate says...

Regarding the bit about "Mr Burton also hinted that the company would invest heavily in the surrounding road network to improve transport into Croydon. He said: 'We have done a lot of work with TFL looking at the Gyratory and also how we may settle the issue of Five Ways which is long overdue'.”

That sounds like code for flooding Croydon with yet more traffic that will bring gridlock and more pollution to the town centre. What evil secret plans are the hatching? A flyover at Fiveways? Building a dual-carriagway along Duppas Hill park? Turning over council promises of making Wellesley Road a green boulevard?

I've seen what they've done in Stratford - it was never a nice place to begin with and they've managed to make it worse.
Regarding the bit about "Mr Burton also hinted that the company would invest heavily in the surrounding road network to improve transport into Croydon. He said: 'We have done a lot of work with TFL looking at the Gyratory and also how we may settle the issue of Five Ways which is long overdue'.” That sounds like code for flooding Croydon with yet more traffic that will bring gridlock and more pollution to the town centre. What evil secret plans are the hatching? A flyover at Fiveways? Building a dual-carriagway along Duppas Hill park? Turning over council promises of making Wellesley Road a green boulevard? I've seen what they've done in Stratford - it was never a nice place to begin with and they've managed to make it worse. ArfurTowcrate
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Fri 18 May 12

ANNE GILES says...

I would never shop anywhere other than Croydon. Love it.
I would never shop anywhere other than Croydon. Love it. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

11:10am Sat 19 May 12

ade12001 says...

You have got to be lazy and not very fussy to want to shop in Croydon,seriously who would want to lower divisions if you can get premier elsewhere?
Croydon is basically a hole and making do with declining standards just because you happen to live near the shopping centre may suit those who are easily pleased,but if you expand a bit further away from the crime ridden area of Croydon you will see there is alternative and better shoppping facilities around!
You have got to be lazy and not very fussy to want to shop in Croydon,seriously who would want to lower divisions if you can get premier elsewhere? Croydon is basically a hole and making do with declining standards just because you happen to live near the shopping centre may suit those who are easily pleased,but if you expand a bit further away from the crime ridden area of Croydon you will see there is alternative and better shoppping facilities around! ade12001
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Sat 19 May 12

Eversend says...

I hope Westfield do come to Croydon. Their name alone will bring a lot consumers in to Croydon. Given that Croydon has excellent travel connections to Brighton, Gatwick and London - there's not better place for Westfield to be in the south than inCroydon. Bearing in mind if they do come to CR0 house prices and rent will increase, which will drive the undesirables out of Croydon (isn't that what we all want?)

http://www.thisislon
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I hope Westfield do come to Croydon. Their name alone will bring a lot consumers in to Croydon. Given that Croydon has excellent travel connections to Brighton, Gatwick and London - there's not better place for Westfield to be in the south than inCroydon. Bearing in mind if they do come to CR0 house prices and rent will increase, which will drive the undesirables out of Croydon (isn't that what we all want?) http://www.thisislon don.co.uk/news/westf ields-1billion-wow-f actor-sends-property -prices-soaring-7618 257.html?origin=inte rnalSearch Eversend
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Sat 19 May 12

ANNE GILES says...

Croydon is not a crime-ridden area. It is vibrant, multicultural and interesting. Nice shops, restaurants and cafes. I have been to Bromley and hated it. I wouldn't touch Bluewater or Lakeside with a bargepole.
Croydon is not a crime-ridden area. It is vibrant, multicultural and interesting. Nice shops, restaurants and cafes. I have been to Bromley and hated it. I wouldn't touch Bluewater or Lakeside with a bargepole. ANNE GILES
  • Score: 0

10:01am Mon 21 May 12

ANNE MILES says...

We visited the Bromley Glades on saturday, very busy with lots of smiling happy shoppers, and safe without gangs roaming around like Croydon has. We had a nice cup of tea and a scone, and a friendly couple of shoppers from Banstead on our table made a pleasant conversation with us.
We visited the Bromley Glades on saturday, very busy with lots of smiling happy shoppers, and safe without gangs roaming around like Croydon has. We had a nice cup of tea and a scone, and a friendly couple of shoppers from Banstead on our table made a pleasant conversation with us. ANNE MILES
  • Score: 0

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