Date set for £1.4bn Whitgift Croydon plans

By Paul Norman - Monday, October 23, 2017 8:55

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Much anticipated plans for the regeneration of Croydon's Whitgift Centre by the Croydon Partnership - the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson - with a 1.5m sq ft retail, leisure and residential scheme will go before a Croydon council planning committee in mid November, it has been announced.

The £1.4bn redevelopment proposal for the Whitgift Shopping Centre will go before a special meeting of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday 14 November.

Croydon Council said it has been "working closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA), local MPs and the Minister for London to do all it could to ensure the Partnership’s proposals made it to a planning committee".

If given the green light, the development will bring 5,000 jobs and 1,000 homes to the borough, as well as changing the shops, leisure and entertainment facilities on offer in the town centre.

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 a third level of retail and leisure, additional new homes and a new flagship Marks and Spencer store.

The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, lodged revised plans for its £1.4bn regeneration of Croydon’s Whitgift shopping centre to accommodate a new M&S anchor store, a recently acquired office block and more homes, in April 2016.

The updated plans included "enhanced designs in response to positive retail demand", with the majority of the approved masterplan principles remaining the same, the partnership said. In February 2016, the Croydon Partnership acquired the Green Park House office which has also been incorporated into the revised plans.

The revised plans focus on four key areas: 

1) Three levels of retail

The addition of a new storey allows for a wider range of retail brands, improved leisure facilities and enhanced open space.

2) A brand new Marks & Spencer anchor store

Since the beginning of 2016, the Croydon Partnership began working with Marks & Spencer for a brand new store alongside the creation of a three-level scheme, both of which were outlined during the Compulsory Purchase Order inquiry in 2015. The updated scheme will include the relocation of the Marks & Spencer store to deliver a new purpose built store as opposed to the previously planned refurbishment of the existing building.

3) Improved access and environment

Following the acquisition of Green Park House, the additional land allowed for an improved environment for North End and Poplar Walk and provides better integration with West Croydon and St Michael’s Church. There will be a Wellesley Road car park which takes car and service vehicle access away from Poplar Walk to entrances on Wellesley Road.

4)The Croydon Partnership is also exploring the possibility of increasing the number of homes beyond the consented 400-600 units.

The revised plans propose over 1.5m sq ft of retail and leisure floorspace and adopt the key masterplan and design principles from the consented scheme.

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