It is still not known whether businesses removed from Croydon Village Outlet will ever be able to move back in to the building before it is finally demolished to make way for a new Westfield shopping centre.

And the future of Westfield itself is still uncertain after numerous delays to the scheme. This week, (October 8) Croydon Council leader, Councillor Tony Newman, has confirmed that discussions with Westfield are still ongoing.

The council wants to bring a £1.4 billion shopping centre to the town but in February it was announced that the scheme is being reviewed – reducing the amount of retail and increase leisure options like cinemas and restaurants.

Work was supposed to start this year but this has been put off until at least 2020.

The council has said taking over Croydon Village Outlet – the former Allders building – was the final part of the compulsory purchase order process (CPO) to gather all the land needed for the mega shopping centre.

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But it seems more work needs to be done to assess teh building before t can be re-occupied or its future decided.

A  spokesperson for the Croydon Partnership, which combines Westfield and Hammerson, said that surveys are still being carried out on the building.

A statement from the Croydon Partnership said: “Due to the scale of the building and the extent of health and safety issues revealed by the initial independent assessment, we have needed to undertake additional surveys on a phased basis.  A number of surveys have now been completed on parts of the building and further surveys are still ongoing.

 “We have been working closely with all businesses based in the former Allders building and have relocated a total of 18 concessionaires including 16 into the Whitgift Centre, with a relocation unit agreed with a further concession.  We have engaged with all parties affected by the closure of the Allders building and have worked as quickly as possible to reach agreements within the appropriate legal frameworks.

 “Upon completion and assessment of all surveys, we will be able to make an informed decision on the next steps regarding the Allders Building.”

And at a full council meeting on Monday night, Cllr Newman confirmed that discussions with Westfield are still ongoing but gave no definite progress update on the start-date for building.

He was asked by a member of the public what Croydon Council would do to make the borough more environmentally friendly.

“In terms of Westfield, we are in ongoing discussions with them,” said Cllr Newman.

“We want to see less not more car parking in the scheme. We have more influence because of the delay we can do absolutely everything we can to see a reduction not an increase.”