Another straw in the wind for Croydon Council’s dependency on high street retail this morning, as the Telegraph and Argus is reporting that Westfield has cashed its chips on the controversial land holding in Bradford, where a vast, water-filled crater has blighted the Yorkshire city’s centre for a decade, instead of being developed into a promised shopping mall.
Infamous locally as “Wastefield” and “The Hole”, the developer’s broken promises and constant stalling was a key local issue in the election of George Galloway to parliament.
The Yorkshire controversy has been used by some to urge caution upon Croydon Council not to take up the demand of John Burton, the Australian company’s director of development, to place enforce a multi-million pound, Westfield-funded compulsory purchase order on its rivals for the development of Croydon town centre.
In Bradford, 200 property owners were CPO‘d but the development never progressed beyond demolition and the digging of foundations.
This deal was first suggested in an Estates Gazette report some 13 months ago.
Now Westfield has realised £200 million – making an estimated £14 million on their purchase price of the site – by selling to the smaller Dutch property fund manager Meyer Bergman. The development would still use the Westfield brand if progressed.
- Collapsing retail sector hits Croydon hardest, say BBC
- Mary Portas, Westfield, Bradford and a £1bn hole in the ground
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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- Flawed council plan puts flats too close to Fairfield Halls (insidecroydon.com)
- Westfield swoops in early with planning application for Croydon (insidecroydon.com)
- Rihanna offered £5m to switch on Westfield Christmas lights (standard.co.uk)