$1.6 Billion Shopping Center Planned for Riot-Scarred Section of London
Planning approval has been granted for the Australian developer Westfield, known for its shopping centres, and UK partner Hammerson, owner of north London's primary shopping centre Brent Cross, to build a third such development in Greater London. After initially fighting over the site, the joint Westfield Hammerson plan was approved late on Monday night.
Director of development at Westfield, John Burton, stated that “In terms of scale, what we’re delivering here is in total larger than what we currently have at either Stratford or west London. The intention is to be a pace setter here and more widely in Europe. This will be the absolute top of the tree.”
Located in Croydon town centre, the £1 billion proposal has been described by Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, as a “once in a generation” and expects that this will elevate the town to become “one of the top retail destinations in the country” when it opens in 2018. The 1.4 million square foot development comprises leisure and office space as well as providing an expanded retail capacity in the renovation of two existing shopping centres.
It is hoped that the proposal for Croydon town centre, badly affected by the riots in summer 2011, will deliver on promises to create 5,000 new jobs and deliver 600 new homes.