Fast track for revised Croydon shopping centre plans
STOPS will be pulled out to ensure any revised plans for redeveloping the Whitgift Centre are dealt with as soon as possible, council leader Mike Fisher has made clear.
Westfield and Hammerson will be talking to all interested parties before coming up with a revised scheme for the centre.
This is expected to revolve largely around Westfield's existing application to provide 1.5 million square feet of retail, a range of leisure facilities and around 600 new homes.
Councillor Fisher said: "It is a very large scheme, so we have to work with them to make sure it is right before it goes to the planning committee."
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With a such a major redevelopment, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has the right to comment on or even call in any application, which could result in a public inquiry.
But at last week's launch of the Westfield/Hammerson deal, the mayor made it plain he was keen to see a good scheme move forward quickly, adding that he would be prepared to use his compulsory purchase powers to ease ownership problems.
The only potential issue here could involve IBRC Assurance, which currently owns 50 per cent of the leasehold of the Whitgift Centre.
There have been rumours for months that IBRC is anxious to sell off its shareholding but so far there has been no confirmation of its intentions.