Westfield and Hammerson’s plans to redevelop the Whitgift Centre are set to take a major step forward at the end of the month.

Croydon Council will meet to discuss the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) in which land can be bought from private landowners for a market rate.

The council’s cabinet will be meeting on March 31 to discuss the use of compulsory purchase powers on land involved in the proposed redevelopment where an agreement has not been reached with the developer.

Planning permission for the £1bn scheme was granted in November.

Any CPOs required have to be approved by the Government after a public inquiry.

The scheme is being heralded as landmark development for the borough. It includes 1.5m sq ft of retail space, restaurants and homes.

A spokesman for the Croydon Partnership said: “Following unanimous cross party approval for our outline planning application in November last year, and the completion of the section 106 agreements and regeneration benefits package, we are pleased that Croydon Council has announced its Cabinet’s key decision period on the use of compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers.

“The land assembly process is an important part of the development process which helps The Croydon Partnership deliver the major retail regeneration of Croydon’s town centre."