Impasse over development
AN EXAMPLE of the kind of deadlock the mayor may need to break has been shown in statements from both sides in the redevelopment row this week.
Lawrence Hutchings, Hammerson's managing director of UK Retail announced: "We want to work with all the landowners in the town who share our vision and that includes the Whitgift Foundation.
"We are sure that they share our determination to make Croydon one of the best places to shop in the country and hope we can work with them to achieve that goal."
However, the chances of an early meeting between Croydon Alliance – Royal London, the Irish Bank and Hammerson – and the foundation are slim.
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The foundation does not like the inclusion of Hammerson in any meeting and the Alliance is unhappy with the foundation's total commitment to Westfield.
Martin Corney, clerk to the foundation, said this week: "The only parties who can progress this are us, Royal London and Irish Bank.
"We have been asking for a meeting since November but that has been declined."
"The foundation is more anxious than anybody else to resolve this because we have a large interest in Croydon.
"The future of the Whitgift Centre is critical for us in continuing to provide the charitable work we do for the elderly and the education of young people."
But he stressed the foundation believed Westfield had the best and most deliverable proposals.