1. ITV Report

Westfield in £1bn bid to open in Croydon

Computer-generated image of Westfield’s scheme around Croydon’s Whitgift Centre, which would include 1.5 million sq ft of shops Photo: Westfield Holdings Limited

Shopping centre giant Westfield today revealed a £1 billion bid to open its latest mega-mall in Croydon.

The company, which already has two major centres in London — at Shepherd’s Bush in the west and Stratford in the east — plans to open its third to dominate the south.

The development will be based around the town’s Whitgift Centre, with the company’s bosses claiming it will regenerate an area devastated by last summer’s riots.

They say the scheme will nearly triple the size of the centre and the 1.5 million square feet of retail space would include a major department store.

A family leisure complex with a multi-screen cinema, bowling and restaurants, along with 600 new homes and car parking are also part of the project. The company estimates it will create more than 5,000 permanent local job opportunities including full-time and part-time work. However Westfield — which will unveil its plans at a public consultation next week — faces a challenge from rival retail developer Hammerson, owner of Brent Cross shopping centre.

Westfield development director John Burton said

Since 2008 we have successfully, and swiftly, created two of Europe’s largest shopping centres that have regenerated Stratford and Shepherd’s Bush and delivered thousands of local jobs during one of the most difficult economic environments in a generation.

Together with The Whitgift Foundation, our plans are to bring a world class centre to Croydon, which deserves a retail solution that meets the needs of its local residents and businesses without compromising on quality or style.

Our plans will bring an outstanding shopping, leisure and residential development to Croydon and will kick start the wider regeneration of the town.

Westfield has the experience from many past developments around the world to redevelop the Whitgift Centre in phases allowing the retailers to continue trading during development.

We look forward to sharing our plans with the local retailers and businesses

to show how they will benefit from this major regeneration scheme and how these plans will unify the existing town centre and support future investment.

– John Burton, Westfield development director

A four day consultation will start on Thursday 5 July 2012.

Westfield plans to submit its development application for the development in July 2012.