While substantial progress has already been made to acquire ownership of land to allow the implementation of the new development, use of the CPO powers will enable the Partnership to assemble the remaining land and interests needed for the redevelopment. CPOs are used by local authorities to assemble land for complex regeneration projects which are in the public interest and involve multiple land ownerships. For the Croydon project, all fees and purchase costs associated with the CPO are being met by the Croydon Partnership.
Settlements have been reached with the vast majority of land owners and occupiers affected by the redevelopment, and agreements have already been reached for the relocation of nine occupiers from the Whitgift Centre to the Centrale shopping centre, which will continue to trade throughout the construction period. The Croydon Partnership and Croydon Council share the same commitment to keeping the town centre running, and retailers trading, throughout the construction period.
All owners with whom agreements have yet to be reached will be notified by letter in the next few weeks with details of the next steps.
This decision represents the latest major milestone for the scheme and closely follows the announcement that John Lewis and Waitrose have confirmed they will be opening a full line department store and supermarket as part of the redevelopment.
Peter Miller, COO, UK/Italy/Benelux, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “We welcome the decision in relation to the Compulsory Purchase Order for the Whitgift Centre and surrounding land. The decision represents another important milestone in delivering the scheme and 7,000 new jobs, helping ensure Croydon’s future as the retail and leisure capital for South London.”
Peter Cole, Chief Investment Officer, Hammerson, said: “We have worked hard to reach an agreement with the vast majority of those affected by the redevelopment. The Council will lead the CPO process, in accordance with the legal framework that applies, to ensure we are able to secure the remaining interests and rights that we need to deliver the scheme.”
The redevelopment of Croydon’s retail centre is part of the £5.25bn plans, which are already underway to transform the town. The investment in Croydon’s major regeneration plans will see new retail, dining, leisure, offices and homes making it the best place in South London to live, work, play and shop.
The earliest date for construction to commence will be during 2019, which would lead to an anticipated opening of the new centre in 2023. The construction timeline coincides with Croydon Council’s series of infrastructure projects that will enable Croydon’s growth zone to deliver the £5.25bn regeneration programme.