THE partnership behind the £1 billion regeneration of Croydon has refused to confirm whether the word "Croydon" will be in the name of the new development.
The Advertiser understands there is a strong possibility the name of Westfield and Hammerson's new shopping centre may not include the town's name.
The suggestion is that it may become Westfield South London, in a similar fashion to the Australian retail giant's development in Shepherd's Bush, Westfield London.
But there are also suggestions the new shopping centre could retain a link to the town's heritage by being called Westfield Whitgift.
A spokesman for Westfield/Hammerson categorically denied a name had been chosen for the new centre but would not be drawn on whether the word 'Croydon' would be included.
Jeremy Frost, chairman of the Croydon branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the town's name should definitely be included but admitted he doubted whether this would be the case.
He added: "They might think it will be detrimental on a national level to have the word Croydon in it.
"They are going to take a purely commercial decision.
"If they thought that by calling it Westfield Timbuktu instead of calling it Westfield Croydon they would get one more customer through the doors, then they would call it that.
"I think they quite feasibly could call it Westfield South London and I think that would be a massive shame because a lot of people are getting very, very miffed about everyone outside of the town doing it down.
"If Westfield is going to come here, then they should be proud to be here."
Advertiser readers almost all suggested Westfield Croydon when asked what their preferred name would be.
Weronika Pomiechowska, 17, from Shirley, said: "It should be called Westfield Croydon because it will help change the negative perception of the town and help to make it better known."
But Annabel Fogden, general manager of the Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, does not believe it would be a disaster if the development did not have the town's name in it.
She said: "It is an interesting one because we want to put Croydon on the map. It would be good to have Croydon in the name and it would make sense.
"But I think the name of the development doesn't have to carry the name Croydon with it as long as it is something that will be associated with Croydon when people hear about it.
"Westfield Whitgift would be quite nice because that would remind everyone of the history of the area and keep the Croydon link."