This post was first published by My London on 18/02/2020.
The leader of Croydon Council has said he will be pushing Westfield to reveal plans for the new ‘destination’ development in the town centre.
Councillor Tony Newman’s comments come after the latest delay to the long talked-about scheme.
Back in October 2019 it was announced that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – the group behind the scheme – was reviewing it because the economy was so uncertain in the midst of Brexit.
This was set in stone in an annual results report for 2019 published last Thursday (February 12), which stressed that the scheme is on hold.
It was one of six projects removed from it’s “pipeline” projects – those that will be coming soon.
It says that the projects “require major redefinition, are postponed significantly due to market or administrative circumstances, or did not meet the group’s return requirements”.
Cllr Newman said today (Fenruary 18) that in the next couple of weeks Croydon Council has a meeting at City Hall with the deputy Mayor of London for regeneration and representatives from Westfield.
“What I am hoping to see at the meeting is details about the outcome of the review,” said cllr Newman.
“I will be strongly encouraging them at the earliest possibility to share their plans publicly. People want to see that Westfield is actually going to produce these plans.
“I am going into that meeting in a very positive mindset. It would be extremely disappointing if we didn’t see the plans put forward.”
And once again the council leader said that if the plans were to fall through there is a ‘plan B’ but he would not expand on what this would include.
He added: “I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if we didn’t have a plan B.”
Cllr Newman said that overall he is in favour of the idea of providing fewer shops as part of the scheme.
“Any scheme that is going to include a quality hotel, cinema and a different mix, people talk about as a destination and a mix of leisure and retail.
“In the last five years there has been a huge change in how people are shopping. That is why I have been understanding of the need to have a scheme that is different.
“The original scheme was of its time, of a huge aircraft hanger of a shopping centre being dropped on Croydon. They are not being built anywhere in that way now.
“We want to have a scheme in Croydon that is fit for the future.”
Currently the Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson, which is in charge of the redevelopment told us it cannot provide any idea of the time scale of development.
And it could not provide a date of when the review would be complete.
But a spokesman said that the company “remains confident in Croydon as a destination and its potential for mixed-use development”.
Taking over the Croydon Village Outlet last summer was the final step in securing land needed for the development which will see the current Whitgift Centre knocked down.
Original Article Link: https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-council-leader-tony-newman-17772520