The chief executive of the Warehouse Theatre said the venue will fold if Arrowcroft's arena scheme triumphs at the Gateway inquiry.

Management at the theatre claim the facilities offered by Arrowcroft were not a "viable way forward".

Stanhope, the rival developer vying for control of the site, has promised to rebuild the Warehouse if it gets the go ahead.

Arrowcroft has also drawn up plans to help the Warehouse survive after the land is developed, but these have been dismissed as unworkable.

Stanhope, who own the land and have planning permission to build there, have been working with the theatre for four years to design a new building.

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, who is on the Warehouse's board, said on behalf of chief executive Ted Craig: "The proposed location is of concern. I still consider that the location, and indeed design of the theatre, is an afterthought.

"Given the lack of deliverability of a new Warehouse Theatre in so many areas we recommend that planning is refused and the CPO declined."

Mr Craig also told the Croydon Guardian that it had been suggested his theatre could take over the restaurant at Fairfield Hall - a plan he called "completely unsuitable".

He added: "The Arrowcroft scheme just doesn't seem to have been thought through or properly finished. We are happy with the plans with Stanhope Schroder and the general view is that if the Arrowcroft scheme goes through then we've had it."