One thing that most people in Croydon can agree on is that if Westfield is to go ahead it needs to happen soon.

Construction of the shopping centre was supposed to start in September but earlier this year the shock announcement was made that it would be delayed again.

Developers announced that the £1.4 billion scheme would be reviewed with extra focus on leisure like restaurants and cinemas.

Croydon Partnership, the joint venture between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson blamed Brexit for challenges in the UK retail market.

Last month Croydon’s council leader Tony Newman assured that he has a plan B and even a plan C if attempts to bring the shopping centre to the town fall through.

But when pressed he would not reveal what these were.

So we decided to speak to the town’s small businesses owners to see whether they had any solutions.

Ian Harris set up the Croydon Business Hub in 2016 and once a month small businesses come together for First Friday, a networking event at Croydon College.

At the most recent event Mr Harris said: “I don’t think Westfield makes any difference to small businesses.

“The general buzz in a Croydon is fantastic though and the potential for small business in this area is enormous in my view.”

But he did think that Westfield would be positive in general for the town.

“From a general point of view I think it raises the profile of the town. Like people talk about Bluewater.

“It’s good to have the status and the visibility,” he said.

Edmée Carroll has lived in the borough for 20 years and runs Powertalk UK, a training company for business people.

She thinks that whether or not Westfield comes to Croydon the town centre’s shopping offer needs to be updated.

“I think Westfield should go ahead. Everything in Croydon would become much better with it here,” said Ms Carroll.

“Jobs would be created and there would be a lot of people coming in as well. I am all for it and would be really disappointed if it didn’t go ahead.

“I think something high end would be a good alternative I think Croydon needs that little push.

“It should be something beautiful. Everything in our shopping centre is closing down now.”

But Wendy Ager, a business coach, thinks that the development should have been built years ago.

She said: “I think it has been undecided for so long now I can’t see any retailers in the current climate being interested.

“If they had done it when they said they would do it they probably would have scraped through.”

But Ms Ager added that she thinks there needs to be better shopping in Croydon.

She lives in Coulsdon and says she doesn’t know where she will take her 11-year-old daughter shopping when she gets older.

“When she becomes a teenager I don’t know where I’ll take her – All the shops in Croydon as closing now.”

The sense of urgency for the shopping centre to be built is shared by MP for Croydon South Chris Philp.

He said: “I think to be honest that both the council and Westfield need to get on with this project as quickly as possible.

“It was a mistake not to press ahead with the scheme back in 2014.

“Both the council and Westfield need to get on with this as quickly as possible and stop dithering and delaying.

“I would be very pleased to see what Tony Newman’s plan B and plan C are.

“It is very hard to see what the alternatives should be given all the compulsory purchase orders (CPO) have been given out and they already bought the Whitgift Centre.

“It is going to have a generally positive impact on the town centre. It is vital to regenerate the area.

“It’s got to have adequate parking and I think the more homes they build the better, including building high.

“But the most important thing is they get on with it and end the uncertainty.”