Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will not call in Westfield and Hammerson's plans in Croydon

Croydon Guardian: Eric Pickles has decided not to call in the Croydon Partnership's plans Eric Pickles has decided not to call in the Croydon Partnership's plans

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has backed Westfield and Hammerson's £1bn redevelopment of the town centre.

Yesterday Mr Pickles said he would not be calling in the Croydon Partnership's plans, which will see the Whitgift Centre replaced with 1.4 million sq ft of shops and leisure facilities, as well as between 400 and 600 new homes.

Mr Pickles had the power to call in the application and look closely at the proposed project, after Croydon Council's strategic planning committee unanimously approved the plans that were later backed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

But Croydon MPs Gavin Barwell, Steve Reed and Richard Ottaway wrote to Communities Secretary urging him not to delay process by taking a closer look.

In a letter to Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell, Mr Pickles wrote: "I am pleased to inform you that I have decided not to intervene on the above proposal and therefore the local planning authority, Croydon Council, may now determine the application as they think fit."

Westfield and Hammerson had been in deadlock over the redevelopment of the town centre, before agreeing on the 50/50 joint venture named The Croydon Partnership, which will create an estimated 5,000 new jobs.

Mr Barwell said: "The way is now clear for Croydon Council to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order if the remaining landowners, who have no alternative scheme, refuse to sell to Westfield and Hammerson. Happy days."





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