APPROVAL of Westfield/Hammerson's £1bn regeneration scheme was hailed last night as a "historic day for Croydon". Politicians and community leaders have universally hailed the project as a bright new dawn for the town. While plenty of residents share their outlook, there are those who are more skeptical, with reaction on social media ranging from optimism to cynicism. Posters on the Advertiser's Facebook page welcomed the news, though some urged caution. Adam Lowe said: "They're investing in shops which will pump money into the local area, and benefit the surrounding area financially. It's simple economics. Croydon will gain as a whole." Richard Gianella said: "[It] needs to happen to revitalise the area. I just hope it takes account of historic landmarks such as the Alms Houses at the end of the high street." Sarah O'Byrne said: "Croydon can't get any worse than it is now. It can only help the borough massively." Stephanie Mills said: "It's long overdue. I never go to Croydon anymore. I find it the least child friendly place. I'd rather drive to Crawley/Bluewater/anywhere. "This could be the best thing to happen to Croydon in a long time, providing it's done right." Others, however, are less than convinced. Avril Jones posted: "The town needs lots of independent stores to set it apart from every other boring, chain store-infested town in the UK. I'm not sure WestHammers will bring that." Sharon Murray called it an "ignorant waste of funds", adding: "The town centre doesn't need revamping. People need homes first and foremost. "Once again I'm disgusted with the council/government for choosing to ignore the needs of the community for a few posh shops in a borough that is poorer than most and can't even afford the basics." @dealneil said on Twitter: "It'll be too big, ugly and drag shoppers away from other areas." Some people preferred to get carried away with the positives. @PookyYuen tweeted: "Wozas Croydon's Whitgift is making way for Westfield!! Loved shopping in Croydon as a kid. Getting even better." @CharlieKamale said: "Rahh Croydon's actually getting a Westfield...Mad mad mad."
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