Croydon Council has decided to 'keep its powder dry' ahead of an imminent public inquiry concerning the proposed Croydon Gateway scheme.
The local authority has withdrawn its objections to an earlier public inquiry concerning the strife-hit project, but issued a statement saying it still plans to fight its corner.
The move has led observers to speculate that the council is playing a game of 'cat and mouse' with Stanhope, its 'opponent' in the race to redevelop a huge swathe of the south London borough.
Stanhope claimed victory after the council withdrew its objections to a public inquiry initiated by the developer, to contest the local authority's non-determination of its Foster-designed planning application.
But today the council said that it believes that 'going through with its CPO (compulsory purchase order) intentions may be the only realistic option to secure the overall regenerative benefits of the [council-backed] Arrowcroft scheme.'
The local authority is standing behind its belief that a scheme which includes an arena - such as Arrowcroft's Michael Aukett-designed-project - would be the most beneficial to the area.
The council and Stanhope are due to go head to head again in a CPO public inquiry later this year. by Rob Sharp