Westfield has announced updated plans for their £1.4 billion regeneration of Croydon town centre, saying it wants to make Croydon the “capital of south London”.
The retail developer says the 1.5 million square foot project, which will include shops, restaurants and affordable housing on and near the site of the Whitgift Centre, could create up to 5,000 new jobs.
A spokesperson for the Croydon Partnership, comprising Westfield and developers Hammerson, said: “Croydon is set to become London’s biggest metropolitan growth centre, with £5.25 billion being invested over the next five years to transform the town into a commercial, residential and shopping hub for South London.
“We are working closely with the council and the local community to ensure our redevelopment brings maximum benefits to the borough, and our plans have been well supported by the local political and business community.
“We believe this represents a fantastic opportunity to return Croydon back to its former glory as a premier retail and leisure destination.”
The partnership plans to create a new public square in Poplar Walk with cafes, bars and shops.
John Burton, head of development at Westfield, said the vision of making Croydon the capital of south London is foremost in the minds of planners. He predicted Wellesley Road will become a “European boulevard”, with roof terraces for the restaurants and bars in the area.
Wellesley Road is also the site for four 30-40 storey residential blocks containing 1,000 homes.
Councillor Jason Perry argued to reduce the typical building design in a bid to reduce the potential for eyesore residential blocks.
However, Burton stated that Westfield will avoid a “cookie cutter” approach to the buildings.
The route between North End and Wellesley road, and Poplar Walk and George street will be pedestrianised, with the link between North End and George street to be covered.
This was opposed by the councillors who believe it would make the centre “closed off” and “looking inwards”.
The plans hope to include green space for the residents as well as 3,150 car parking spaces on top of the centre.
The plans have been previously pushed back and building will not commence until 2017, with completion to be in 2020/1.