Khan rubberstamps £1.4bn Croydon Whitgift makeover

By Paul Norman - Monday, January 08, 2018 14:32

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved Westfield and Hammerson's £1.4bn redevelopment of Croydon's Whitgift Centre.

The redevelopment of the Whitgift shopping centre by the Croydon Partnership will feature 1.5m sq ft of shops and restaurants including over 300 new stores, leisure and dining and up to 1,000 homes with the potential to include future student accommodation or a hotel.

Khan gave the project the green light after it was approved by Croydon Council’s planning committee. It will be the third Westfield shopping centre in the capital, alongside the company’s sites in Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford, while Hammerson has the Brent Cross shopping centre in London in its portfolio.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Today marks a crucial step forward in the regeneration of Croydon town centre.

“This development will play a key role in unlocking the borough’s potential and is set to deliver huge economic benefits to residents and businesses in the borough.

“As well as the creation of 7,000 jobs and the delivery of almost 1,000 new homes, it will also attract many visitors to its brand-new leisure facilities and public spaces. I’m confident the benefits of this scheme will be felt for generations to come.”

Westfield UK/Europe’s Head of Development, John Burton OBE, said: “The endorsement from the Mayor of London represents a great start to the year for the project and for Croydon. The London Borough of Croydon responded positively to our revised outline planning application, and we’re pleased that this has now been approved by the Mayor. Our plans will help establish Croydon as South London’s best retail, dining and leisure destination and deliver new homes and 7,000 jobs.”

Hammerson’s Chief Investment Officer, Peter Cole, said: “This confirmation from the Mayor of London that he supports our proposals will give further confidence to retailers, investors and the community, giving us the mandate to deliver a transformative, world-class retail and leisure destination which is already stimulating the ongoing wider regeneration of Croydon.”

Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, Councillor Alison Butler, said: “I'm delighted another milestone in this project has been reached and the Mayor of London has approved the Croydon Partnership's plans. The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre will transform Croydon town centre and today's green light brings us a step closer to the works getting under way.”

The application to redevelop the Whitgift Centre includes the delivery of up to 967 new build-to-rent homes, of which a minimum of 20% will be provided at below market-rent levels – the majority of which will be for London Living Rent (based on renters paying a third of average local incomes).

The level of affordable housing offered in the application was supported by a viability assessment. This was scrutinised by City Hall planners, who concluded this was the maximum amount which could be delivered while ensuring the project remained financially viable.

The mayor's office said early, mid and late-stage review mechanisms have been secured (in accordance with the draft London Plan and the Mayor’s Affordable Housing and Viability SPG) which could result in the delivery of an increased level of affordable housing on the site.

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