Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gave a green light to the project of building a new shopping centre in south London which is a joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson.
Westfield already has two major shopping centres in London at Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford, and will be expanding with another in Croydon.
The plan for redevelopment of existing Whitgift Centre was approved by Croydon council but Khan had to give the final say due to the scale of the scheme.
Hammerson’s Chief Investment Officer, Peter Cole, said: “This confirmation from the Mayor of London that he supports our proposals will give further confidence to retailers, investors and the community, giving us the mandate to deliver a transformative, world-class retail and leisure destination which is already stimulating the ongoing wider regeneration of Croydon.”
Work on London’s third Westfield is set to begin in 2019 which will create 1.5m sq ft of retail and leisure space with 7,000 jobs and 1,000 new homes included in the plan.
Khan added that the project of building a new in shopping centre is a ‘step forward’ in the regeneration of the south London borough.
“The endorsement from the Mayor of London represents a great start to the year for the project and for Croydon,” said John Burton, head of development for Westfield UK.
The mayor has been a voice for affordable houses in London since coming in power in 2016 but only 20 per cent of these planned homes will be under the affordable scheme.
It falls short of his pledge for 35% for developments on public land, though he accepts it is a ‘starting point’. A charity has urged him to “claw back” as much affordable housing as possible.
The regeneration plan in Croydon has been stated as a ‘starting point’ for the affordable homes scheme and Khan believes the numbers will only go up over time.