Westfield unveils £1bn Croydon plan

The Times reports that Westfield - developers of giant malls in White City and Stratford - has released details of its plans to create a third mall in Croydon:

Under the proposal Westfield would create 1.5 million sq ft of shopping space, a multi-screen cinema, a bowling area and a number of bars and restaurants. It wants to create a new streetscape in Croydon...

It said its new scheme could be built within two to three years and it is hoping to attract John Lewis as an anchor tenant. 

However, Hammerson, the UK’s third largest property company, also has plans to redevelop the Whitgift Centre. The specialist retail property developer will unveil its own detailed proposals later this month and wants to create a holistic scheme that links a new scheme at the Whitgift with its Centrale Shopping Centre next door.

Whatever plan proceeds, it seems certain that the Croydon will become the southern counterweight to Brent Cross in the same way East London's Stratford has to West London's White City. With excellent links from this borough to Croydon, it will make it even harder for Lewisham town centre to regenerate through retail.


Anonymous said...

Croydon may become a shopping mall Mecca, but there is no escaping the fact that it horrendous getting there by car from Brockley.

I would have thought Lewisham would have long ago lost the prospect of quality retailers who moved to Bluewater, which is also very car friendly.

Croydon will draw people from far and wide who depend on public transport.

Canary Wharf on the DLR also has a lot of retail emporia.

Not sure what is left for Lewisham except supermarkets and bargain basement shops.

I wonder what cunning plan our local planners will come up with? Another Citybank perhaps?

Rogetski said...

There has been a public consultation on Lewisham Town Centre over the last year. All they have come up with is to increase the amount of shops and attract an anchor store such as Debenhams and build flats in the town centre.

This looks increasingly naive and short sighted given Croydon plans for south London shopping domination.

Anonymous said...

So where does Lewisham Gateway fit in to all this?

Should the whole scheme be remodelled and take into account what might be planned for the existing shopping centre?

kolp said...

I think Lewisham will be alright & muddle through.

If we have a Mayor and people in Lewisham with vision we can offer a retail experience here that is just as enjoyable but not based on scale.

I have loads of ideas of things that could be done.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Sydenham & then Forest Hill in the 70's and 80's Croydon was my first port of call not Catford or Lewisham.

It took £20m of government money and £7m of council money get the Loampit Vale development and leisure centre off the ground.

If similar government funding supported by a secret deal from the council is required to set Lewisham Gateway going maybe it's not an appropriate plan and is unsubstainable?

By the way Debenham's ditched Lewisham years ago despite sweetners from the council and former owners of Riverdale, Slough Estates.

With Europe's largest police station maybe a police training centre to replace Hendon would be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

kolp muddling through is Lewisham's major problem, with one party in power for about 50 years and the same elected mayor since 2002 matters of planning and direction should have been resolved 20-30 years ago.

They should not still be muddling through.

Anonymous said...

The Food Programme today featured Croydon's Surrey Market, and suggested that was the way to go to regenerate the high street.

Anonymous said...

And cancelling car parking charges on Saturday at least was given as a way of regenerating local shops.

Anonymous said...

How utterly, thoroughly depressing. More identikit shopping centres to bludgeon our collective senses. I'm amazed that we are doing so little to lift ourselves out of recession, except pummel the message "spend, spend, spend".

max said...

Aren't these mega shopping centres all targeting drivers/shoppers? If so then how can Lewisham ever be a destination for that kind of retail? Already going to Croydon means a bloody long time stuck in traffic, coming to Lewisham from somewhere else is the same just worse, and once the misguided Lewisham Gateway will be built to occupy the roundabout of all places traffic will be even more congested.

Anonymous said...

The local Croydon newspapers are reporting a potential deal, whereby Hammerson backs away from the Croydon Whigift site, and in return, Boris gives it help in doubling the size of Brent Cross:


Not surprisingly, people around Brent Cross smell a rat:


Anonymous said...

Good news. Westfield is largely honest fare and will put proper shopping back on the agenda for drivers in Brockley.

max said...

Nick, can you run the following poll please:

On a scale of 1 to 5 how do you rank a shopping trip to Croydon?

1 - I'd rather be in bed with the flu.
2 - Do I have to?
3 - Bah, dunno.
4 - Retailtherapy works, and there's nothing wrong with Croydon.
5 - Now you're talking! Where are my driving gloves?

Economics 'O' Level said...

"lift ourselves out of recession, except pummel the message "spend, spend, spend".

Yes, think you'll find that the lack of demand is killing everyone. Someone has to spend, no one is at the moment. What's your solution?

Anonymous said...

The shopping centre will kill the shops around it, only chains will be able to afford to astronomical rents Westfield charge.

Anonymous said...

Westfield says it will put some low-cost 'starter' shop units into Croydon, like at Stratford (but not White City).

It also says the new 24-hour "street" across its site will line up with EAST CROYDON station's new entrance, now being built.

It claims the north end of its site will be directly connected to the new WEST CROYDON station entrance, which is planned, but not yet started.

On the other hand, there will be 1000 extra parking spaces.

Anonymous said...

Hordes of people get off the DLR from Lewisham at Stratfford for the shopping.

I don't think I've seen the reverse.

MalB said...

The new shopping centre surely be easy to get to without public transport - hop on the ELLX or southern trains and job done.

After Lewisham lost Chiesmans, and before the Arndale centre degenerated into nothing, I used to go to Croydon by train fairly regularly to shop (well as regularly as I'd shop for anything).

From Telegraph Hill, it was almost as easy to get there by train as it was to get to Lewisham in any case.

For those on the eastern side of Lewisham, Croydon is a difficult place to get to by train - it is always tedious by car - so I could see Lewisham carving out a niche there. At present, Bromley is probably the competitor, although the Glades has been going rather downhill too over the last few years.

Kim said...

Drive to Croydon, get back in my car from Croyon, parking in Croydon etc etc

Doesn't the Overground go directly from Brockley to West Croydon which is a 2 min walk from the main shopping area? Am I missing something or is public transport below some of our local residents?

Anonymous said...

Brockley trains also go to East Croydon 15/20 minutes

but still feels a bit of a trek

Anonymous said...

You try going to IKEA and bringing your purchases back by public transport.

When you are shopping that involves large items, public transport is often not a viable option.

You can can get stuff delivered, but that puts the costs up considerably, they are often overpriced.

Home delivery services are an Internet thing. Many large retail stores are wholly orientated towards car owning visitors. You can tell, they have large car parks. provided by the indulgence of local councils and their far sighted planning.

The one who provides the most car parking space wins the race.

Lewisham lost out long ago.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather be in bed with the flu

Anonymous said...

Agreed that shopping for large items at Ikea etc is impossible without a private vehicle. However the stores that a Westfield accommodates are generally just larger version of normal high street stores and do-able on public transport.

Must shop must have car.

But would rather be in bed with the flu.

Anonymous said...

Who doesn't have a car these days?

Brockley Nick said...

"Who doesn't have a car these days?"

Most Londoners don't have a car and car ownership per capita in London is declining:


Anonymous said...

I'd rather be in bed with Lou.
Hang on...did I say that right?

Ian in the Hill said...

I'm just grateful the monstrosity is going up in Croydon and not Lewisham. Frankly it's hard to imagine what one could do to make Croydon worse.

Brockley Nick said...

Have to say, I quite like the Stratford one. Nice inside-outside design.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, think you'll find that the lack of demand is killing everyone. Someone has to spend, no one is at the moment. What's your solution?"

Re-orient the economy so that we don't just rely on the (mostly financial) service industry. Produce useful tangible goods again. Create jobs in those industries. Lend to start-up businesses so that it's not always mega chains that can actually afford retail space. Support a low-carbon economy.

We can't just expect people to buy useless crap all the time to keep the economy vibrant. Isn't that (partly) what got us into this mess in the first place?

Brockley Nick said...

"Re-orient the economy so that we don't just rely on the (mostly financial) service industry."

The UK service sector is not mostly financial services.

"Produce useful tangible goods again."

Manufacturing as a proportion of UK GDP has risen about 2% in the last few years and we are still one of the world's biggest manufacturing nations.

"Lend to start-up businesses so that it's not always mega chains that can actually afford retail space."

It's not really lack of finance that prevents independents taking retail space - it's the economies of scale. Shoppers want low cost, big retailers use their buying power and efficiencies that come from running hundreds of outlets to offer lower costs than independents.

"Support a low-carbon economy."

Erm, fine. How?

"We can't just expect people to buy useless crap all the time to keep the economy vibrant. Isn't that (partly) what got us into this mess in the first place?"

Yes, a bit. Agree with you to a point, but let's not forget that what dragged us back in to recession was a slump in the building sector. Here is someone looking to invest £1bn in to building a new centre. That will deliver a major boost to the sector and to UK manufacturing companies that make display systems, lighting, security systems, steel, floor coverings, etc, etc, etc.

And remember, if no-one's buying stuff, it makes it harder for UK manufacturers to sell stuff.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

and it would be nice if the government thought of a low-carbon agenda, supported by environmental innovation, as something of benefit rather than a cost. we could create a much healthier and more prosperous society (admittedly with short-term costs, but significant long-term gains). this government's "green" policies are beyond laughable.

Jane said...

We are a Brockley family with no car by choice.

Brockley to Lewisham by bus 10 mins. Brockley by train to East Croydon 15 mins. Brockley by ELL to West Croydon 15 mins. Crofton Park to Bromley by train 15 mins. Brockley to Canary Wharf by DLR 20 mins. Fantastic, easy, no problem.

We also do an IKEA trip twice a year. Train to East Croydon then tram. Carry little stuff home in IKEA bags, get big stuff delivered. Simple. No traffic jams, no parking problems.

Anonymous said...

Cars are so cheap to run these days its good to have one just as an insurance policy for those times where you need one.

max said...

If transports are really convenient fine (and I don't drive either and I'm also guilty of having been to Ikea by transports, not my idea I want to clarify, I would have rather stayed in bed witht eh flu), but for a lot of the customers of shopping centre this is not the case, a mega parking lot is a major component of every shopping centre on the planet.

Tressilliana said...

@Anon 19:33 - was that meant to be ironic? I don't have a car so have little idea what it costs to run one, but I was under the impression that motor insurance premiums for inner London are massive.

Agree with Jane that it's pretty easy to get to Bromley, Croydon etc from Brockley by public transport. Mostly I would rather eat my own leg than go shopping but it has to be done sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Quite clearly someone has not had the regular IKEA experience of finding that not all the bits are in stock, so you are obliged to visit again.

And again....and again....until you have all the bits you need.

They seem to do this on purpose. Presumably they benefit from the sad returnees being seduced by more bargains.

On a busy weekend when the place is full of extended families IKEA is a hellish experience.

The checkouts are often the scene familiy rows, disputes and much stress.

Now add to that the vagaries of the tram/train/overground system between Brockley and Ampere Way.

If you are trying to tell me that it quite simple for families to happily set out yomping their purchases from IKEA on public transport and happy to foot the bill for incremental deliveries of larger item.

I say, you are having a larf!

The delivery services associated with major stores leaves a great deal to be desired. As indeed does their stock control.

Shopping in retail parks requires a motor and I doubt very much whether these huge investments on Croydon retail space will not require car parking facilities for their customers as part of the equation.

max said...

You just reminded me of the details of our own visit to Ikea by transport, we had to queue hours just to book the home delivery, desperately trying to keep the baby daughter entertained so that she doesn't break into a tantrum and then praying that she doesn't wake up until we're back home. On Swedish meatballs rations! A bad day.

online electronics store uae said...

I am planning to order a dress from them and with the special offer in place, I am required to pay 100% up-front.
But after reading a few reviews online, I am worried that the dress might not arrive as they have guaranteed and their alternation service.
Can anyone please tell me their experience with Berketex and i possible, specifically with their Croydon branch?

Rose Bud said...

We get on the overground train into town and go to Covent Garden or Oxford Street - much better than some crummy old high street, or some new airless shopping mall - and all on public transport.

Brockley Central Label Cloud