Croydon Council was being taken to court this afternoon by lawyers acting for the lease-holder of Croydon Outlet Village – based in the building better remembered as Allders – in what has become an increasingly acrimonious dispute over the ownership and management of the site.
Bailiffs acting on behalf of the council moved in before dawn yesterday to change the locks and take possession of the building, which a council spokesperson said was being done to allow for survey work to be conducted, as part of the Compulsory Purchase Order which Croydon has conducted ahead of the long-promised Westfield redevelopment.
But between 60 and 100 employees, who work across 40 businesses and concessions in the old department store building, have been locked out of their premises for two working days now, unable to access their stock, their cash in their safes and any personal effects.
Whether Optima Media International, the company which operated the Croydon Outlet Village, or the council win out in their court tussle, it seems unlikely that the building will be open for business again before Friday, causing a potential loss of business for the traders of more than £100,000. Continue reading