The council has welcomed the news that the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, has acquired the Whitgift Trust’s long leasehold in the Whitgift Centre.
This gives the Partnership ownership of the shopping centre, alongside the freehold owner the Whitgift Foundation – which supports the scheme – and provides it with direct management control.
The announcement drives forward the Partnership’s plans for the more than £1bn redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre.
It follows the recent conclusion of the compulsory purchase order inquiry which finished on Friday, 13 March. The result of the inquiry is expected to be confirmed by the Secretary of State in autumn this year, with the inspector’s report due towards the end of May.
The Whitgift Trust was one of the main objectors to the scheme and recently lost a High Court challenge calling for a judicial review of planning permission for the development.
The council will work closely with the local community to ensure that the wider project brings maximum benefits to the borough.
“This is great news for Croydon and represents a significant step forward in the regeneration of the town centre.
“It improves the deliverability of the scheme, as it means the Partnership now owns or controls a majority of the major land interests required for the development.
“We can now really focus on building up the momentum behind transforming Croydon’s retail centre.
“Our job now is to ensure that this is the catalyst for providing more homes and creating new jobs for our residents.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and regeneration