We are delighted to report this morning that the Secretary of State Greg Clark has today approved the application on behalf of Westfield and Hammerson for a compulsory purchase order to enable the developers to acquire some remaining third-party interests in the area to be redeveloped for the town's new shopping centre.
This scheme, brought forward whilst the council was under Conservative control, will be the catalyst for the rennaissance of our town.
The scheme will see the existing Whitgift shopping centre redeveloped into a 21st century retail, leisure and restaurant destination which will deliver huge benefits for Croydon residents.
It is expected to create around 5,000 new jobs, which together with construction jobs will provide significant employment for local people.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, today issued his decision to confirm the CPO following the recommendation of his Inspector, Paul Griffiths, who led the six-week inquiry in February and March of this year.
CPOs are often used by local authorities to assemble land for complex regeneration projects which are in the public interest, particularly those which involve multiple land ownerships.
Although initially rivals for the control of the site, developers Westfield and Hammerson were encouraged by suport from London Mayor Boris Johnson, GLA Member Steve O'Connell, local MP Gavin Barwell and the then Conservative-controlled council to put aside commercial rivalry and come together for the good of the town. This remarkable alliance duly came together and is a tribute to the maturity of those two organisations and the political will to do everything possible to make it happen.
Conservative opposition leader in Croydon, Cllr Tim Pollard says "This is fantastic news for our town and is a real step forward in the efforts to renew Croydon for the 21st Century. Boris, Steve and Gavin all worked tirelessly over many years to smooth the way for this scheme and it is great to see that the Labour council has continued the good work its Conservative predecessor had done and that there has been no lessening in the desire to make this happpen."
London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, Steve O'Connell says "Our warmest congratulations go to the development team from the Croydon Partnership (Westfield Hammerson) and a huge thank you to London Mayor Boris Johnson and Deputy Mayor Edward Lister for all the work they have done to help make this dream a reality".