FAQs

FAQs

  • The Croydon Partnership

    • 1. What is the Croydon Partnership?

      The Croydon Partnership is the name of the joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson which is redeveloping the retail town centre of Croydon.

    • 2. Who are Westfield and Hammerson?

      Westfield and Hammerson are two of the world’s best known and highly regarded developers of shopping centres and retail destinations in the UK and overseas. https://uk.westfield.com / http://www.hammerson.com

    • 3. Why was the Croydon Partnership formed?

      Both companies are equally committed to investing and developing in Croydon, it was a definitive and logical decision to bring together the combined experience and expertise of both companies to form a 50:50 joint venture.

    • 4. When was the Croydon Partnership launched?

      The Partnership was launched in January 2013. It was established to provide a single point of contact for communication and engagement with all stakeholders across the Croydon community.

  • The New Development

    • 1. How much will the new scheme cost, and who is paying for it?

      Westfield and Hammerson are committed to investing up to £1.4 billion into the redevelopment, which will be funded entirely by the two companies.

    • 2. Where is the new scheme going to be?

      The new scheme incorporates the complete redevelopment of the current Whitgift Centre in the heart of Croydon, and will ultimately include the adjacent Centrale centre to create one retail destination. http://www.thewhitgiftcroydon.co.uk / http://www.centrale.co.uk

    • 3. How big will the new development be?

      The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre encompasses 1.5m sq ft.

    • 4. With the rise of internet shopping and uncertainty surrounding the economy, is this a good time to be building a new shopping centre?

      The redevelopment will represent a blueprint for a modern town centre in a digital age, and will draw on the experience and successes of other Westfield and Hammerson schemes across the UK. The social and communal importance of such retail and leisure destinations is very important, and creating a safe and secure environment which families and both young and old people will want to visit and enjoy spending time is of paramount importance.

    • 5. Can you give an indication of the kind of shops we can expect to see in the centre?

      There will be a broad range of retailers, combining well-known brand names with smaller independent stores, to cater to a wide range of tastes.

    • 6. How many different stores will there be in the new centre?

      There will be over 300 different shops.

    • 7. Will there be a department store and can you confirm a name at this stage

      Yes, securing a major department store is part of a plan. We are talking to a number of interested parties but are not in a position to confirm a name at the present time.

    • 8. What leisure amenities can we expect to see?

      There will be a wide range of restaurants and cafes, in addition to a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley.

    • 9. Will there be car parking provision?

      Yes, the scheme incorporates a total of circa 4,500 car parking spaces (including the existing Centrale car park)

    • 10. How much housing will be incorporated into the scheme?

      The current plans allow for the provision of a minimum of 400-600 residential units, although we have submitted a revised application for an enhanced scheme which includes up to 1,000 homes.

    • 11. What will the new centre be called?

      There is no rush to name the new centre and a decision will be made in due course after proper consultation with the local community. In the meantime the existing centres will continue to be called the Whitgift and Centrale.

  • The Rationale For Regeneration

    • 1. Does the Whitgift Centre really need such a wholesale redevelopment?

      The Whitgift Centre has served Croydon well, but is outdated. For many years the centre has suffered decline through a lack of investment. The infrastructure is half a century old and at the end of its expected life. The physical layout of the current centre does not meet the needs of modern retailers or shoppers, which has resulted in an increasing number of vacant units and deterioration of customer footfall.

    • 2. Does Croydon need a new shopping centre?

      Croydon is one of the London’s largest boroughs and needs to re-establish its position as a prime retail and leisure destination. This is an opportunity to return Croydon to its former glory as one of the South East’s most vibrant town centres. There is huge demand from retailers for high quality modern space in Croydon, including a large department store. The interest we are already receiving from retailers underlines this demand for a world class scheme which will attract people from across South London and beyond to Croydon.

    • 3. What is the appeal of Croydon as a location for such a major development?

      Croydon and its surrounding area has a large and expanding population with many people currently shopping in other locations. The town has excellent transport links, with upgrades at both West Croydon and East Croydon stations, and an expansion of the tram network. A modern redeveloped Whitgift Centre will attract these people back to Croydon town centre, as part of series of large scale regeneration projects, with more than £2.7bn committed to new development and infrastructure projects.

    • 4. Can a shopping centre really have such a regenerative effect on a town centre?

      Yes, we have seen from other successful shopping centre schemes developed by both Westfield and Hammerson that a modern retail environment will act as a catalyst to the wider regeneration of an area.

  • Delivery

    • 1. The scheme has been talked about for some time, is it actually going to happen?

      There is strong cross party political support for the scheme at the local level and within the GLA, and central Government. Westfield and Hammerson have unparalleled track records of successful delivery. We have also been encouraged by enormous support from the local population.

    • 2. When will construction work begin, and when is the expected opening date?

      At this stage, we anticipate completing the land assembly process during 2017 and early 2018, allowing for a full construction start in 2018. We currently anticipate the opening date to be in 2021.

    • 3. Does the scheme have planning consent?

      We secured outline planning consent in February 2014 and are currently awaiting a decision on a revised planning application.  The details of the new application can be found in the news section of our website.

    • 4. Will the demolition of the Whitfgift Centre be undertaken on a phased basis?

      No, the Whitfgift centre will be closed wholesale before the demolition process begins, which we believe is the most efficient and effective approach.

    • 5. What will happen to the retailers currently operating in the Whitgift Centre?

      We are in negotiations with all parties affected by the regeneration proposals. The aim and expectation is to reach an amicable agreement with the vast majority of parties. One of the options open is to relocate retailers in the adjacent Centrale centre, or elsewhere in the town centre where there is vacancy.

    • 6. What can the local population expect the town centre of Croydon to be like during the construction period?

      We share the same aim as the council in our desire to keep the town centre running, and retailers trading, throughout the build-out period. Centrale will remain open during this period, and will accommodate some of the displaced retailers from the Whitgift.

    • 7. What engagement has there been with the local community to date?

      We are committed to the local community both in terms of our continuous engagement and consultation, but also in ensuring that the redevelopment brings substantial benefits to the borough. Key to this is working with individuals, businesses and charities as part of a comprehensive community programme focused on the core themes of youth and enterprise.

  • Compulsory Purchase Order

    • 1. What is a CPO?

      Compulsory purchase order (CPO) is a legal function in the United Kingdom that allows an “acquiring authority”, usually a public body, to buy or obtain land or property without the consent of the owner. A CPO is applied only when there is a compelling case to do so in the wider public interest, and the process is a common function of major town centre regeneration schemes.

    • 2. Why do we need it in Croydon?

      A CPO is applied only when there is a compelling case to do so in the wider public interest such as the wholesale regeneration of Croydon’s retail centre. This redevelopment has been recognised as hugely important for the future of Croydon.

       

      It provides Croydon with the opportunity to be positive and act decisively and expediently, under a specific timeframe to resolve the land assembly without the uncertainty of a drawn out process.

       

      The land assembly process involves acquiring land that is vital to the major redevelopment of Croydon’s retail town centre and will create over 5,000 new jobs while acting as the wider catalyst for the economic regeneration of Croydon as a whole.

    • 3. Doesn’t this just involve removing people from their properties?

      The Croydon Partnership is in negotiations with all parties affected by the regeneration proposals. The aim and expectation is to reach amicable agreements with the vast majority of parties and have a relocations strategy for Centrale or other areas of the town centre.

       

      For a complex development such as this, CPO powers are required; for example where there are historic rights and legal restrictions on land uses which are now out of date or land interests where a negotiated settlement cannot be reached.

    • 4. Who can use the CPO?

      In this case any potential use of CPO powers would be a Croydon Council led process. The cost and expenses related to the purchases will be underwritten by the Croydon Partnership.

    • 5. Who pays for the CPO?

      The cost and expenses related to the purchases will be underwritten by the Croydon Partnership.

    • 6. Where else can I find out more information about CPO?

      The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) operates a compulsory purchase helpline that provides up to 30 minutes of free advice. You can contact the RICS by dialling 024 7686 8555.

    • 7. Will anyone be relocated?

      Ensuring that we maintain a significant retail offer throughout the development process is one of our foremost priorities. We have been working with all parties involved to seek short and long term solutions for businesses that would like to stay in the town centre such as relocations to Centrale or other vacant locations.

    • 8. Can businesses directly affected still stay in Croydon?

      Yes – our priority is to find suitable solutions for the businesses concerned and for them to continue trading in Croydon, whilst ensuring that the town remains a retail destination in the run up to the Hammerson/Westfield development’s completion.

       

      There is a lot of vacant retail and office space in the centre of Croydon and we expect to be able to utilise some of this – which will have a beneficial impact on the town centre. Some will also be moved into Centrale, and we are working with each business to seek long and short term solutions.

    • 9. How much of the required land have you already acquired/agreed to acquire through mutual agreement?

      The most significant issue for us was gaining management control of the Whitgift Centre, which we achieved in March by acquiring the Whitgift Trust’s 50% lease. We continue to make good progress in discussions with a number of retailers for relocations to Centrale.

 

The Partners


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