Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.


[Reposted from July 2012] Croydon Guardian: "Gavin Barwell MP calls for Whitgift resolution" (between Westfield and Brent Cross's Hammerson)

Link to 'Croydon Guardian'

"MP Gavin Barwell believes resolving the impasse over development of Croydon's Whitgift Centre is the key to sparking regeneration in the borough.

"... Asked for his opinion on the merits of either of the schemes, Mr Barwell declined to pick a favourite:
"They are both good schemes. If I were to express personal opinion, it would be Westfield brand would give an immediate impact [so you favour Westfield then!] while Hammerson’s is a more permeable[*] scheme for the long term.  If either comes, it will be good for the town."
[* Permeable: adjective from the verb permeate:
  1. to pass into or through every part of: "Bright sunshine permeated the room."
  2. to penetrate through the pores, interstices, etc., of.
  3. to be diffused through; pervade; saturate: "Cynicism permeated his report." (We're saying nothing.)
He probably means a more traditional street pattern; Hammerson's actual plan is still awaited.]

Links to 'Croydon Advertiser'

'Why a 400-year-old charity
holds the key to Croydon's future'

"... Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell is a co-opted governor [of the Whitgift Foundation] after originally serving as a council appointment." 

Westfield exhibition of Whitgift plans
for Croydon attracts 5,000
 "John Burton, development director of Westfield, next to the exhibition
displaying plans for redeveloping the Whitgift Centre"

Link to Croydon web sites...

'Inside Croydon' web site:
 "Boris promises to end
Croydon’s planning paralysis"

"The entrenched battle between the Whitgift Foundation and Hammerson was not helped by the local MP childishly running ahead of the issue.

"He implied that he personally had solved Croydon’s problems by facilitating the Whitgift deal to work exclusively with the Australian company Westfield, before the owners of 75 per cent of the leasehold of the Whitgift Centre had been consulted."

'Croydon's Future' web site:
"Croydon’s regeneration:
the triumph of hope over experience?"

"The audience was about 100 residents. The audience was somewhat older and more affluent than the Croydon norm. Many of those present are habitual attendees at all of Croydon’s public meetings. Interestingly, both Westfield and Hammerson had senior employees in the audience, to gauge the public temperature."

An extra view of Westfield...

Link to 'Louder Than War' web site:
"Coming Soon? The long wait for Westfield"

"The recent announcement by Australian retail giant Westfield of their intent to build a £1billion ‘super-mall’ in Croydon has been met with mixed reaction. None more so than in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, whose own experiences of this company were not quite what they expected.

"... in December 2004, Westfield bought [developers] Stannifer, and took over the Bradford project.

"At first there were no outward signs of problems. Demolition continued, and by the summer of 2006 the site had been largely cleared, with an expected completion set to occur in late 2007. At this time however, Westfield were building their huge centre in Derby, and so many of their workmen were unavailable, meaning that this date was pushed back. Despite this, a huge foundation was dug into the ground in the place that would house the car park for the centre. At this point construction stopped, and was left in the same state in which it can be found to this day.

"... And so to the recent announcement that Westfield are to plough £1billion into building a new centre in Croydon. This news was understandably met with some disbelief in Bradford, and an empathy with the people who may face a similar fate to theirs. Familiar sloganeering and propaganda has no doubt filled the local press there, and it will be the tip of conversation amongst its residents. There is no doubt that Westfield are once again speculating that the recession they claim has stalled the Bradford centre will be over by the time they expect the first tills to ring in Croydon.

"Should this prove not to be the case however, and the downturn continues, when can the people of Croydon expect to see their shiny new retail cathedral? If all else fails, they will be more than welcome to take a trip to the North, and use Britain’s biggest wishing-well in a search for answers."

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