Croydon Westfield shopping centre approved

Plans to create a new Westfield shopping centre in Croydon, replacing the rather tired Whitgift Centre, have been approved by Croydon Council. It means there will be a new shopping destination at the southern end of the East London Line, but Stratford's already within fairly easy (and cheaper) reach, meaning it's of dubious benefit for this neck of the woods, especially as it will add pressure to the Overground services.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

Westfield and Hammerson's £1bn redevelopment plans for the Whitgift Centre have been unanimously approved by the council's strategic planning committee. 

The scheme, which was first announced in January, has been earmarked as the catalyst for a massive economic boost to Croydon's economy. 

The redevelopment will see both the Whitgift Centre and Centrale replaced with 1.4 million sq ft of shops and leisure facilities, as well as between 400 and 600 new homes. 

Approval by the planning committee is subject to subsequent approval from Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

15 comments:

Quickest said...

which one will be quicker to get to - Croydon or Stratford?

sunbabies said...

Moving to Brockley from East London, I have missed the Stratford WF (only 10mins drive), the Croydon is still not entirely convenient for SE-ers, sadly. So will likely tube it to Stratford anyway. Good for Croydon though.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, on balance it's good news for Croydon. And investment in South East London is to be welcomed I guess.

Man of Brockley said...

Different company (Land Securities), but, yes, the Riverdale isn't great.

brockleyman said...

Lewisham Town Centre: No good!
Pound Shops, Charity Shops and pound-a-bowl fruit and veg!
With them there it will never be up market.

Spend! Spend! Spend! said...

Sadly true, Lewisham is quite down at heel. It lost its mojo a long time ago and shows no sign of getting it back. When you are upstaged by the likes of Stratford and now Croydon, it does not auger well.

Brockley Jon said...

I really can't see how anyone can say it's not convenient to get to Croydon, considering both Southeastern and the Overground trains go direct!

Brockley Nick said...

Personally, I don't see any future for mid-sized shopping centres like Lewisham's. Too big to be charming, too small to make a special effort to visit - they just aren't destinations, which means all you'll get is local footfall, which in a poor area means empty or run down shops, struggling to compete with supermarkets for trade. The Westfield experience shows you need to go big or go home.

That will be the day said...

Lewisham as a leisure destination?

BreakspearsEagle said...

I think this is nonsense. Lewisham is always packed with people, even on weekdays. There are no empty units and there is a waiting list for companies wanting to be in the shopping centre which is too small to meet demand.


It's much more buzzing than, for example, The Glades in Bromley.

BreakspearsEagle said...

And here's the evidence

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/378dc892-7442-11e1-9951-00144feab49a.html?siteedition=uk

"Lewisham and Wood Green in greater London have emerged as two of the best high street trading locations for retailers nationwide, thanks to their proximity to affluent communities who “top up shop” locally to avoid the trouble of travelling to the West End or Bluewater"

Brockley Nick said...

You're saying Lewisham shopping centre is a roaring success with a bright future as it is currently configured? Even its owners don't think that - they want to redevelop it.


I will take your word for it in terms of the waiting list, but that BNP Paribas data you link to refers to the High Street, rather than the shopping centre. The market is great and there are some really useful shops.


Being in better shape than the Glades is not much of an achievement. The Glades was screwed by Bluewater and will be further hurt by the Croydon Westfield.

Brockley Nick said...

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that Lewisham has a lot of potential as a centre for shopping and leisure, I am saying it needs to shift the balance more in favour of leisure and needs a massive overhaul. Again, I'm happy to take your word for it that retailers are queuing up to get in there, but I imagine they are paying relatively low rents. There are lots of shoppers, whether that converts to lots of spending, I'm not so sure.


Surrey Quays has a similarly large catchment area, by the way.

Robert said...

Thinking about Lewisham Shopping Centre- I was wondering why the Pontis restaurant had closed in the centre. I thought it was such a shame - it was a really nice - non-corporate place to sit and eat a sandwich, have a coffee in between shopping. Anyway - I did a bit of a google, and it appears their lease was not renewed by the management (the bastards!) And now it is just a wide open space - with badly matched floor covering.

http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2012/06/pontis-closes-after-25-years-in-lewisham/

Spincat said...

Agree with both the idea that Lewisham has a lot of room for improvement and that it is a great place for shopping for certain things: there are some really good market stalls -and some craps ones- but the really good ones mean I shop here for fresh food most weeks; the Italian deli, Rolls and Rems; Tiger; the Turkish Food Centre are favourites. The chain stores, however, are poor - not because they are chains but because they are the frumpiest incarnations of themselves, eg. the really terrible M&S which is like something out of the'Are you being Served' era.


I am interested to read about Ponti's. It is odd there are so few places to eat in the main shopping area - the only other place is the quite nice independent cafe called Muffin Break but it gets very crowded and Robert's post suggests a possible reason why there are so few. Maggie's is, of course, great, but is quite a long stagger away with shopping across busy roads.

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