Work to redevelop Croydon’s Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres is now hoped to begin in 2019.
Up to 1,000 flats will be delivered in five tower blocks overlooking Wellesley Road. The first two buildings will be developed with the construction of the retail scheme, with the remainder being developed in a later phase.
Joint venture specialist retail developers Westfield and Hammerson will redevelop and combine Croydon’s current shopping centres – the Whitgift Centre and Centrale – to create the 1.5m sq ft retail-led scheme.
Plans were first granted permission in 2014, but in October last year an enhanced application was submitted with the addition of a third storey of retail and restaurants, and a new Marks & Spencer store.
Now the council has approved what will be London’s third Westfield shopping complex, it will be passed on to the Mayor of London who will have the final say on whether planning permission should be granted.
If rubber stamped, the 13-month demolition programme would begin next year to clear the vast site.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council, said: “The new homes and the thousands of jobs this development will bring shows investors are rightly confident about Croydon as a place to live, work and spend free time.
“I am delighted contractors will be on site in 2019 to kick-start the exciting transformation of the heart of our town.”