A developer said it will rebuild the Warehouse Theatre - in a final attempt to gain public support for its controversial plan for the Croydon Gateway site.

The theatre, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last month, has only ever been featured in Stanhope and Schroders' plans for the site.

A 254-seat theatre is included in a new application submitted by rival Arrowcroft last week - three months before the Gateway dispute goes to public inquiry.

The £600million Arrowcroft scheme, which also includes a 12,000-seat arena, is the council's preferred option. But the two firms are locked in a legal battle to gain control of the prime development space close to East Croydon station.

The company has always refused to accomodate the Warehouse in its plans but an Arrowcroft spokesman said this week: "Obviously the theatre has other problems to overcome, but hopefully the offer of a great new building, including space for a theatre, bar or restaurant would help strengthen its commercial chances."

The revised submission contains changes to the proposed development, including more affordable housing and parking.

Ted Craig, artistic director and chief executive of the Warehouse, said Arrowcroft had not contacted them about the new plans.

He added: "The site they have given us is not a prominent location like they have claimed, it is stuck in a corner behind the huge arena.

"We have had no consultation at all with Arrowcroft and this is shown in what they have designed. They have given us a 245-seat theatre but have made no provision for dressing rooms or rehearsal rooms.

"Our biggest problem is that as far as we know this work will take at the very least three years to build if ever and in that time we will have to be pulled down while the new theatre is being built. That is of course our absolute vital concern.

"As it stands at the moment we are in the advanced stages of designing a new Warehouse Theatre with Stanhope and we have had a good deal of involvement in designing a theatre that we are very excited about."

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: "Arrowcroft is simply responding to the public demands to keep the Warehouse Theatre and they are obligingly making space in their plans to provide it.

"Arrowcroft's plans can work for Croydon and at least they are demonstrating willingness and an intent to make it happen."