Westfield director: 'Our Croydon cinema plan will be more successful'
A CINEMA complex remains a vital ingredient in retail giant Westfield's £1billion investment plans for the Whitgift Centre, its development director John Burton confirmed this week.
His confidence that cinemas in a Croydon Westfield will succeed comes despite the fact that Hammerson, its rivals for Whitgift development, received planning permission for a £50m regeneration of its Centrale shopping centre in North End last Thursday.
Mr Burton told the Advertiser: "Approving the Centrale application has made negotiations with cinema operators much tougher.
"Ultimately, one complex will come at the expense of the other but we are confident our plan will be more successful."
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Mr Burton said he believed the Westfield cinemas would have the advantage of being part of a redevelopment scheme with direct links to other parts of the town centre which met the town's aspirations of offering a 24-hour leisure and retail mix.
In addition to the cinemas, the initial proposals envisage the creation of 125,000 sq metres of retail and restaurant space – including hopefully a home for a John Lewis department store – a bowling alley and between 400 and 600 homes in four residential towers fronting Wellesley Road.
There will also be a new link between Wellesley Road and North End which will improve connections with East Croydon via the new railway bridge.
It is expected the regeneration of the centre will create another 4,000 jobs.
Westfield is expected to submit a formal planning application this summer.