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Government receives 130 objections to Westfield/Hammerson Whitgift Centre plans ahead of High Court hearing

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MORE than 130 objections to the compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) needed to allow the Westfield/Hammerson redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre have been lodged with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The extent of the objections is outlined in a report going before the council's cabinet on Monday.

The report says: "Although this is a significant number, it is not unusual for a CPO of this size and complexity."

The CPOs are essential to enable the partnership to eventually obtain ownership of the various leases in the Whitgift Centre, without which the development will not be possible.

The report also reveals that a judicial review hearing will be held in the High Court on October 7 and 8, over claims by the Whitgift Trust that the planning process leading up to granting planning permission for the partnership's £1 billion scheme was flawed.

The trust, comprising largely of the Anglo-Irish Bank, owns around 25 per cent of the leasehold of the Whitgift Centre.

Its claims for a judicial review of the planning decision centre on unfairness in not disclosing confidential viability information; failure to take account of viability information as a material consideration; failure to take affordable housing policies into consideration and errors in the planning committee report.

Councillor Alison Butler, the council's cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: "We are working hard before the High Court hearing and the public inquiry into the CPOs to see how these issues can be overcome.

"Anything you plan to do on this kind of scale is not going to make everybody happy."

Government receives 130 objections to Westfield/Hammerson Whitgift Centre plans ahead of High Court hearing


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