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'Olympic-sized task' ahead for council to ensure viable future

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CEMENTING Croydon's future growth is a task of "Olympic-sized proportions", the council's cabinet was told on Monday.

But Councillor Alison Butler, the cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said the council was determined to help bring about changes which should benefit both the town centre and the borough's district centres.

The cabinet approved the principles of the council's new Growth Plan, the cornerstone of policies to create more jobs and homes and make Croydon a place where people want to live and work.

The guiding principles laid down in the plan include creating 16,500 more jobs; kick starting the building of 9,500 new homes; re-establishing Croydon as London's premier retail and leisure destination and outer London's prime office centre; attracting a major university; revitalising district centres; building more affordable homes and investing in world class broadband infrastructure.

With the principles of the plan now approved, the next step will come in September when the cabinet will "A Promise" outlining how sustainable growth will be realise and "Places Plans" to help develop district centres.

Cllr Butler said: "We are talking about making Croydon a different place, one of which local people and businesses will be proud.

"This report is about making Croydon a better place in which to live and making sure that everyone who lives in Croydon now will benefit from the changes to come."

One of the main drivers of the town centre regeneration will be the Westfield/Hammerson Partnership's redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre.

The £1 billion investment is expected to provide 5,000 jobs in retail and leisure, and the partnership is committed to providing as many as those as possible for local people.

John Burton, development director for Westfield, told the meeting the partnership welcomed the fact the council's new administration was making a clear statement that it was dedicated.

He said: "This is regeneration on a massive scale and we need to help investors understand this is somewhere in which they should invest."

Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: "This paper is about changing the perception of Croydon.

"We want to deliver in such a way that we will sustain growth to transform the town centre and the district centres."

'Olympic-sized task' ahead for council to ensure viable future


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