The redevelopment of Croydon town centre passed a major hurdle this week as Croydon Council’s planning committee approved the £1.4 billion scheme, backed by global investment.
Three years after it was first proposed, the redevelopment of the Whitgift Shopping Centre will now progress with government support following meetings hosted by Minister for London Greg Hands at the Department for International Trade.
Croydon will join Stratford and Shepherd’s Bush as London’s third Westfield shopping centre and one of the company’s 17 flagship centres across the world, from China to the USA. Westfield’s investment of £700 million represents a huge commitment from the Australian firm to Croydon, and London, as a global retail destination. The project is being delivered by the Croydon Partnership, which comprises of Westfield and UK retail experts Hammerson.
Construction is now set to begin next year, creating 7,000 new jobs and 1,000 new homes for the borough. The final proposals were put to the planning committee after a series of meetings chaired by the Minister for London, where Croydon Council, Westfield and the Greater London Authority (GLA), along with all three of Croydon’s MPs, agreed the funding needed to move the project forwards.
The redevelopment follows a record year for overseas-backed projects in the UK and London, with 891 projects in London made possible through foreign direct investment in the last year.
Minister for London Greg Hands said: “I am delighted that after convening two meetings of all concerned parties, here at the Department for International Trade, we will now see construction taking place. This major redevelopment of the Whitgift site will bring huge benefits to Croydon and London with thousands of new homes and jobs.
“This is a great example of local and central government working together with private investors, and as Minister for London I’m delighted to be supporting the project, and seeing it secure planning approval.
“As Minister for Trade it is also yet another example of London and the UK’s appeal to international investors, bringing much-needed regeneration projects to life. Croydon will join locations across the world, from San Francisco to Sydney, with a flagship Westfield site, once again proving London’s enduring strength as a leading global retail destination.”