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How long will Allders be occupied?

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THE Whitgift Foundation says it has still not been provided with key details about a new department store which is set to open in Allders.

Businessman Marco Cash has signed a deal with landlord Minerva to transform the building into a discount outlet store called Croydon Village.

Neither he nor Minerva will reveal the length of the lease, leading to concerns it could cause complications for Westfield and Hammerson's £1billion project.

Westfield said this week that Mr Cash's store has no long-term future in the town centre, after the businessman threatened to bare his backside on the steps of the town hall if the Australian retail giant manages to open its new shopping centre on schedule.

The Whitgift Foundation, the majority freeholder of the Allders building, shares concerns that Mr Cash's company, Metro Outlet Croydon Ltd, could prove a hindrance, but has not received any assurances from Minerva.

A spokesman said: "The foundation has not been provided with any information from Minerva beyond an indication that an agreement has been reached with 'Metro', who apparently intend to trade from the former Allders store. The foundation has not received any information as to how and by whom the building will be occupied, for what uses or the lease length.

"In the meantime the Whitgift Foundation and the Croydon Partnership are focusing on their redevelopment proposals for the town centre which, of course, will include the site of the former Allders store.

"That scheme is on programme, with anticipated outline planning in 2013 and work due to commence on the site in 2015."

Mr Cash, who said he has already spent nearly £1million on refitting the Allders building, told the Advertiser last week that Westfield should "build around him". Both he and Minerva refused to comment this week.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell is among those to have called on Mr Cash and Minerva to reveal the length of the agreement.

How long will Allders be occupied?


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