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High Court bid to halt the Croydon Westfield/Hammerson development set to be dismissed

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A BID to put the brakes on Westfield/Hammerson's proposed £1billion redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre will be dismissed, a High Court judge indicated at the end of a two-day judicial review.

The Hon. Mr Justice Collins had listened to the case of Equiom, acting on behalf of the Whitgift Trust - which owns around 50 per cent of the leasehold of the shopping centre - at the High Court yesterday and today (Wednesday).

Although Mr Justice Collins said his judgment would not be ready in writing until the end of the month, he wanted to make it clear at an early stage that he would "probably" dismiss it so all parties had time to plan their next steps.
The trust, essentially the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (Anglo Irish Bank), had argued a report by Deloitte on behalf of the Croydon Partnership into the viability of the scheme had been withheld from them, thereby prejudicing the planning process.
Deloitte's report was compiled before last November's strategic planning committee gave the plans the green light, and stated the affordable housing aspect of the scheme was not presently viable.
Representing the trust, Russell Harris QC argued the report was a "material consideration" the elected members of the committee should have seen before making their decision.
The council, however, believed the document to be confidential for commercial reasons.
While Mr Harris presented several different arguments throughout the course of the hearing, Mr Justice Collins indicated it was only the failure to disclose the Deloitte report on which he had to make a decision.

Croydon Council's cabinet member for homes and regeneration, Councillor Alison Butler, said: "We are very pleased that the judge has today indicated he will dismiss this claim.

"We have always been very clear about the importance of this development in Croydon's regeneration ambitions.

"We continue to focus on the next stage of CPO process."

High Court bid to halt the Croydon Westfield/Hammerson development set to be dismissed


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