Work on the Whitgift Centre redevelopment is now postponed until 2017 which will mean the current Centre will remain open for two Christmases. Westfield and Hammerson’s Joint Croydon Partnership will not ask the Council to start CPOing until 2016.
These crucial changes to the redevelopment timetable allow continuing lobbying to get more benefits for Croydon residents.
The details come in answer to a question by Councillor Susan Winborn to Councillor Alison Butler at tonight’s Croydon Council meeting about ‘the latest timetable for the scheme and its completion.’
Cllr’s Butler’s reply.
‘It is currently envisaged that Westfield and Hammerson will request that the council uses its CPO powers to draw down land in 2016 and that Westfield and Hammerson will start on site in 2017. The centre would re-open in 2020. This programme would enable retailers to trade for two further Christmas’s in the centre and is allied to proactive management of the centre to ensure ongoing vitality as the process moves forward.’
Section 106 Obligations
Labour Councillor Hamida Ali has asked Butler about the section 106 obligations agreed with the Westfield-Hammerson partnership.
‘The summary of S106 headings as agreed between the Council, under the previous administration, and Westfield and Hammerson is as follows and is expressed in the standard format:-
Cost of monitoring section 106 – This is a financial obligation on the developer to contribute to the Council’s reasonable costs of monitoring the observance and performance of the obligations in the section 106 agreement.
TV Mitigation – This is to ensure that the development has no detrimental impact on TV signals in the vicinity of the site and that the TV signal is retained at its current level. Three surveys would (1) establish a base case; (2) establish the impact of the development on television signals and to mitigate any impact; and (3) following completion of mitigation measures, an assessment of success. In addition, the developer is required to set up a ‘hotline’ to deal with any complaints from members of the public regarding the quality of their TV signal.
Public Art – This is to secure a strategy for the provision of public art within the scheme in the form of physical provision and/or performance art by way of a programme of artistic/cultural events. This will assist in enhancing the visual amenity and cultural appeal of the development. A financial contribution of £150,000 has been agreed. Restriction on parking permits – This is to ensure that the residential element of the development does not have a detrimental impact on the availability of car parking spaces in the vicinity of the site. It requires the developer to notify future residents of the restrictions on their ability to obtain ‘on street’ parking permits.
Retain Architects from agreed list – This is to ensure a high quality of development in keeping with the Design Guidelines and consistency (by retaining the involvement of an Executive Architect, from a list of architects agreed between the Developer and the Local Planning Authority), from outline stage to completion of final reserved matters, only allowing a change of architect with the agreement of the Local Planning Authority.
District Heating – This is to enable a mechanism for providing a link to the town centre district energy scheme if it comes into existence before or during construction.
Local Employment and Training Strategy – This is required to ensure that the development provides a benefit to the local economy and community through the establishment of an Employment and Training Steering Group to deliver an Employment and Training Strategy during both the construction and operational phases of the development. The strategy will include, forecasting labour requirements, recruitment and training initiatives, targeted recruitment towards local residents (particularly towards targeted wards) and vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, monitoring of targets, job brokerage, apprenticeships/internships, education support, sourcing local contractors/sub-contractors/suppliers where reasonable, and having a flexible approach to respond to new initiatives. It also includes provision for a Job Brokerage and Skills Training Hub, a support strategy for local businesses and a test trading space for local business start-ups within the development.
Wellesley Road and Park Lane Works – This requires the developer to enter into the S278 agreements in relation to the highways works required within the vicinity of the site prior to the commencement of development and to complete the works, prior to occupation of the development.
Closure of subways – this would require the developer to complete of the removal of the pedestrian subway in Landsdowne Road (subsequent to completion of the Council’s works) to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority, if this is agreed to be required.
Local highway network improvements – This would require the developer to provide a £2.5 million financial contribution towards highway works and traffic measures to junctions affected by the impact of the development, subject to monitoring and review of the impacts.
Bus network enhancements – The development will result in additional visitors to the Metropolitan Centre who will travel by bus and this will result in a requirement for additional bus services to cater for the increased demand. A financial contribution of £10 million is required for additional bus services needed as a result of increased passenger use resulting from the development. The provision of additional bus services will be done in conjunction with TfL.
Bus stop/stand enhancements – This allows for (from within the £10 million overall contribution) the developer to provide a financial contribution to bring all relevant bus stops to Equality Act 2010 compliance standards and to make a financial contribution towards additional bus standing required as a result of additional services required resulting from the development.
Tram network enhancements – The development will result in additional visitors to the Metropolitan Centre who will travel by tram and this will result in a requirement for additional capacity in the tram network to cater for the increased demand. A financial contribution of £15 million towards additional tram services and stabling is required. Changes to the layout of the tram network within the town centre are also required. The provision of additional capacity will be done in conjunction with TfL. There may also be a requirement for additional capacity at existing tram stops in the Metropolitan Centre to cater for increased passenger demand and to prevent passenger congestion at tram stops.
Sustainable Transport Fund – This requires an obligation of £1.625 million to deliver the travel plan. This figure may increase if funds elsewhere are not fully utilised and can be drawn into this obligation. This requires the provision of a travel plan for the development (required by condition) and the employment of a travel plan co-ordinator to monitor the effectiveness of the travel plan on an annual basis for a specified period. It would also include the cycle strategy and facilities, taxi improvements, messaging and signage and rail station improvements. The Council, with agreement with TfL, would determine how and where this money is spent.
Public realm – this is to secure a maximum financial contribution in order to fund public realm improvements to North End, a reasonable endeavours obligation to acquire all necessary rights in order to carry out public realm works to the space outside Green Park House and an obligation to provide lighting, signage and treatment of service yard entrances at Drummond Road. In addition, the developer has given a financial commitment equating to £4million indexed for public realm works enhancement in the event that the development does not proceed within a reasonable timescale following either substantial closure of the shopping centre due to demolition works associated with the development or demolition of the shopping centre itself. This commitment would provide some mitigation of impacts in this scenario.
Delivery of residential – Obligations in order to use reasonable endeavours for the delivery of the housing component of the scheme. Delivery of affordable housing within the context of the residential being delivered – this is to secure a minimum of 15 % of all residential GIA to be provided as affordable housing, with a specified tenure, a proportion of this to be provided on site, with the remainder provided offsite or through a commuted sum.