The latest in a long line of decisions to bring Westfield to Croydon has been hailed as a "historic moment."

At a meeting last night (June 11), Croydon Council cleared the path for developers to purchase the last piece of land needed to build the £1.4 billion shopping centre.

Leader of the council, Tony Newman, said this was a "really exciting time" for everyone involved.

"Just last week we welcomed John Lewis’s commitment to be an anchor store in our new development, confirming their confidence in Croydon as a place to be now and in the future," he said.

"This latest decision by our cabinet brings Croydon even closer to the £1.4bn retail development that will put our town firmly on the map as a shopping destination for the south east, while delivering much-needed new homes and thousands of new jobs for local people.

"As a council we are doing all we can to progress this important scheme and I’m delighted to see things are moving forward quickly now.”

As well as the John Lewis, a Waitrose, M&S and 1000 new homes will be built as part of the development between Unbail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson.

Chief executive of the the Whitgift Foundation (which is the freehold owner of the Whitgift Centre), Martin Corney, was also pleased about the decision.

“This is a historic moment for Croydon following the council’s approval of the £1.4bn redevelopment scheme enabling a new state-of-the-art leisure and shopping centre, including a flagship John Lewis store, to become a reality," he said,

“As one of Croydon’s oldest organisations since 1596, we are passionate about Croydon’s future success as a place to live, work and shop - fit for the 21st century."

The council hopes to keep the town centre open for business in the run up to and during construction which is due to get underway in 2019.

The hope is that the centre will open in autumn of 2023.