Croydon’s new council’s hopes of the £1 billion Hammersfield shopping mall development being built and on-stream speedily took another blow last night when an invited audience of local businesses was told that the scheme would not start construction until 2016 – a year later than planned – and will not be completed now until 2019 at the earliest.
That means that the Labour group, which won control of the Town Hall in May and pinned their hopes on the Westfield and Hammerson redevelopment of the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres to regenerate the borough’s fortunes, will now have to endure the town centre as a building site throughout their four-year term.
This ought not come as any surprise. In April this year, Inside Croydon accurately predicted: “It is the nature of these large-scale projects that they over-run, in terms of time as well as costs”. Last night’s down-played announcement simply confirmed what had been suspected by realists and pragmatists for some time.
Nonetheless, it will be doom-ladened news for Croydon’s ruling Labour group. Continue reading