London mayor Sadiq Khan has approved £1.4bn plans to regenerate Croydon town centre.
Under the plans, the Croydon Partnership – a joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson – will take up redevelopment of the Whitgift shopping centre.
The project will deliver 967 new build-to-rent homes and provide new leisure facilities and public spaces to the local community.
Shops and restaurants will be built across half-a-million square metres and space will be allocated for a hotel or student accommodation.
The mayor gave the approval to the project after it was cleared by the Croydon Council’s planning committee.
Khan said: “Today marks a crucial step forward in the regeneration of Croydon town centre.
“This development will play a key role in unlocking the borough’s potential and is set to deliver huge economic benefits to residents and businesses in the borough.
“As well as the creation of 7,000 jobs and the delivery of almost 1,000 new homes, it will also attract many visitors to its brand-new leisure facilities and public spaces. I’m confident the benefits of this scheme will be felt for generations to come.”
Westfield UK/Europe’s head of development John Burton said: “The endorsement from the Mayor of London represents a great start to the year for the project and for Croydon.
“The London Borough of Croydon responded positively to our revised outline planning application, and we’re pleased that this has now been approved by the Mayor.
“Our plans will help establish Croydon as South London’s best retail, dining and leisure destination and deliver new homes and 7,000 jobs.”
Hammerson’s chief investment officer Peter Cole said: “This confirmation from the Mayor of London that he supports our proposals will give further confidence to retailers, investors and the community, giving us the mandate to deliver a transformative, world-class retail and leisure destination which is already stimulating the ongoing wider regeneration of Croydon.”
Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, Councillor Alison Butler, said: “I’m delighted another milestone in this project has been reached and the Mayor of London has approved the Croydon Partnership’s plans.
“The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre will transform Croydon town centre and today's green light brings us a step closer to the works getting under way.”