Croydon is set to be home to a new shopping centre after two major retail property firms secured outline approval.

Westfield and Hammerson have come together to propose a £1 billion scheme that will redevelop Croydon's town shopping centre. It will provide a significant boost to the area and hopes to attract more commerce from both residents and people from outside the town. The companies explained that Croydon's Whitgift Centre will be completely rebuilt under the plans and converted into 1.5 million sq ft of retail, leisure and restaurant space.

Officials stated that the plans will also include new public realm, new car parking and around 600 residential units, of which 15 per cent will be affordable housing. As part of the £1 billion regeneration, £30 million has been earmarked for local transport improvements, employment and training.

Westfield and Hammerson broke down the costs which will see £15 million used for the tram network, £10 million for the bus network, £2.5 million for local highways and the remainder being split between sustainable transport initiatives and employment and training programmes. All these improvements are just part of the partnership's goal of regenerating two million sq ft of Croydon.

Councillor Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council said: “Today’s resolution to approve Westfield and Hammerson’s planning application is a very important day for Croydon. We are committed to ensuring that the town’s regeneration projects provide a lasting positive impact for Croydon and future generations.”

Following Croydon Council's approval the retail scheme will be put before mayor of London Boris Johnson and communities secretary Eric Pickles who will have the final say on the development. Should the plans get the go ahead work will be able to start in 2015 and give Croydon a much-needed facelift.

Westfield already has a foothold in the London area with two major shopping centres situated in Shepherds Bush and Stratford.

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