Westfield is revising its plans for the £1.4 billion regeneration of Croydon’s Whitgift shopping centre masterplanned by Allies and Morrison
The Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson, has updated its proposals to include an extra third storey of retail space, a new Marks & Spencer anchor store, improved access and the possibility of increasing the number of homes beyond the consented 400-600 units.
As part of the rethink, Hawkins\Brown has been brought on board in recent weeks to look at the housing elements of the project and will work alongside Leonard Design Architects and Spacehub, who are responsible for the landscaping.
Roger Hawkins, partner at Hawkins\Brown, said the site had increased in size since the previous work done by Allies and Morrison, allowing the practice to look at adding more residential space to the development. ’We are looking at between 600 and up to 1,000 new homes for people in the centre of Croydon,’ he said. ’It will be a great location because you are right in the city centre, you’re right next to East Croydon station.’
He added that the bigger site area brought ‘significant benefits’. ’It means the shopping centre can connect through to Marks & Spencer and can make better connections through linking East Croydon and West Croydon,’ he said.
The scheme will continue to provide 1.5mft² of retail and leisure space featuring more than 300 shops, restaurants and cafes, a cinema and a bowling alley.
The Croydon Partnership has worked with M&S for a new flagship store alongside the creation of a three-level scheme, both of which were outlined during the Compulsory Purchase Order inquiry last year, since the beginning of this year. The updated scheme will deliver a purpose-built, relocated M&S store as opposed to the previously-planned refurbishment of the existing building.
Additional land gained through the acquisition of Green Park House in February allows improved access to the complex.
The developer will present the first stage of the revised plans to Croydon Council’s planning committee next week (28 April) ahead of a public consultation in the Whitgift Centre next month and submission of a revised outline planning application later this summer.
John Burton, Westfield head of development, said: ‘We have continued to evolve our plans and designs alongside positive discussions with retailers and the progression of the land assembly process.
’These exciting new elements are the culmination of that work and allow us to provide an upgraded scheme that is in line with our ambition for Croydon to become a state of the art retail and leisure destination.
‘With the announcement of the Croydon Growth Zone funding to help enable the delivery of the £5.4billion of investment of which the retail plans for the town centre have been a major catalyst, these are exciting and important times for Croydon.’
Robin Dobson, Hammerson’s Director of Retail Development
’These important changes to our existing scheme allow us to deliver an improved retail environment, a flagship M&S store and better integration with West Croydon together with over 5,000 new jobs as well as new homes.
’The enhanced scheme will be a major draw attracting more visitors, residents and wider investment and employment into the town.’