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Hammerson: Brent Cross and Croydon: two collapsed development schemes

"It is six years to the day since Westfield and Hammerson said that, jointly, they would redevelop central Croydon. KEN LEE, our Town Hall reporter, on the increasingly beleaguered mood among senior council figures"

Link to 'Inside Croydon'

"This week marks six years since the 'marriage of convenience' between Hammerson and Westfield was announced over the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre. Then, the shiny new temple to retailing was all supposed to be rebuilt and open for business by 2017. Now, no one appears to know when it might open, or even if it ever will.

Last June, Croydon Council's chief executive, Jo Negrini and council officials were reporting that demolition work on the old shopping mall would begin in September 2019. At the Town Hall this week, that start date had been put back, at least until after Christmas.

Any further delays to the redevelopment of the town centre will be a massive blow to Negrini, the self-proclaimed 'regeneration practitioner'. Last year, when asked whether her council had a fall-back position in case Westfield decided not to go ahead with the scheme, Negrini responded, 'We're not stupid.' It seems increasingly likely that councillors from the majority Labour group as well as opposition Tories will soon be asking for Negrini to share with them what her 'Plan B' really is."

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