London to get third Westfield mall as £1bn Croydon scheme gets go-ahead

London is one step closer to getting its third Westfield shopping mall, as plans for a £1bn Croydon scheme won approval from the council’s planning committee yesterday.

The retail centre, which expects to get 40 million visitors a year, will be bigger than the existing Westfield malls in Stratford and Shepherd’s Bush.

The project is due for Boris Johnson’s approval tomorrow. If it gets the green light from the Mayor, work will begin in 2015.

Plans include redeveloping the existing Whitgift Centre and Centrale to create 1.4 million sq ft of shopping, leisure and office space and 5,000 jobs.  

John Burton, Westfield’s director of development, told the Standard: “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.

“The Mayor, following the riots, has made no secret of the fact that this is one of his priorities in terms of seeing it return to its place in the overall hierarchy of London. Croydon will rise to a place in London that it has previously held, at the very top.

“Overall Stratford is about 1.9 million sq ft and Shepherd’s Bush 1.7 million. When you combine the Centrale and Whitgift we’re actually nudging 2 million, so it’s actually slightly larger than those two,” he added.

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