According to Croydon Advertiser Surrey St market traders are upbeat about the Westfield/Hammerson development, ‘but said they did not know how they will survive the years of disruption before it is completed.’ ‘All traders spoken to by the Advertiser said they had not been consulted and did not know how Surrey Street would fit into the plans.’ (http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Market-traders-plea-Don-t-sell-short/story-25943386-detail/story.html)
Lack of consultation appears to be one of the main objections to the proposed development from those who objected to the CPO and are giving evidence to the Inquiry, which starts daily on Tuesday 3 February at 10am at Bernard Weatherill House until Friday 6 this week – then continues week 10-13 February. See the evidence being submitted and the timetable etc on the Inquiry’s website: http://persona.uk.com/Whitgift/index.htm.
Evidence from the Council and Croydon Partnership, the Whitgift Trust, Sainsbury, National Westminster Bank, W. H. Smith, Minerva, Bouwfonds European Real Estate, Marks & Spencer and others are up so far. Other companies remain to be put up, as does evidence from members of the public like Andrew Kennedy and myself.
Whitgift Foundation: the elephant in the room
The evidence from Whitgift Trust and Minerva are well worth reading because they raise many of the key issues. These are dealt with in rebuttal statements by the Council and the developers. Evidence on both sides discusses the Whitgift Foundation as ultimate freehold beneficiary if the CPO is approved. It will of course be the missing elephant in the Inquiry room unless the Inspector agrees to my suggestion that he call it to give evidence. You can see the Foundation’s views on the scheme in its staff newsletter Through the Gates (No. 4. Autumn 2014)
Its employee Jo Negrini appears to be the Council’s chief witness. In her statement she refers to the Growth Plan (adopted after the CPO decision). I have therefore submitted as an additional statement of evidence the Croydon TUC Growth Plan critique to enable the Inspector to assess what she is saying.
You can see Westfield/Hammerson’s video of their scheme at
Hammerson’s Share Happiness
Hammerson will be feeling very happy at the moment as its shares have climbed in value as retail is set for a strong 2015 in wake of global oil price drop. See
Living Wage Commitment
In a turnabout from previous statements Croydon Partnership commits to Living Wage: