New Westfield centre delayed until 2020

Whitgift improvments will be delayed. Pic: Stacey Harris

Work on Westfield and Hammerson’s £1bn new shopping centre in Croydon due to begin at the end of this year has been delayed until 2017 – the year it was expected to open.

“Works are now expected to start in 2017 with potential completion in 2020/21,” the property developers said yesterday morning.

They said the reason for the delay was due to “extended planning process and discussions with a number of potential anchor tenants.”

The council granted permission for Westfield and Hammerson’s proposal in 2014. Their plan is to redevelop Croydon’s two main shopping centres, Whitgift and Centrale, into one major retail and leisure destination this year.

Croydon Council leader Tony Newman, said: “[Hammerson] absolutely need to crack on with the scheme. We’re bending over backwards to make that happen but we need to make sure that with the legal processes we get that right.”

“Considerable progress was made in 2015 to advance the scheme, with the conclusion of the CPO Inquiry and the decision from the Secretary of State to allow the Council powers to purchase the land required to deliver the project,” Carolyn Kenney, a project director at Hammerson, said.

“We expect to have completed the final designs and land assembly by the end of the current year, with a targeted opening in 2020.”

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said: “This has been something that I think people in Croydon have wanted for a very long time.”

“[There will be] at least 5,000 additional jobs in retail, and obviously what people will be looking for is increased economic activity in Croydon which will benefit everybody here in business. What it also adds is more new homes. About seven and half thousand new homes will be triggered by this investment,” Johnson said.

Hammerson’s CEO, David Atkins is convinced the shopping centre “is going to change people’s perception of Croydon, it will become the retail hub of south London,” he said.

Hammerson is a FTSE 100 retail property specialist and has been creating and running retail destinations for over sixty years. In addition, Westfield Corporations has retail destinations in London, New York, San Francisco and Los Angles. It is one of the world’s leading shopping centre companies.


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