Arrowcroft is about to make an offer to Stanhope Schroders' for the Croydon Gateway site, it has emerged.

Despite being locked in a legal battle over the land for almost 10 years, the two companies could be about to strike a deal ahead of the result of the official planning inquiry.

The fact Arrowcroft is looking to make an offer, days before the end of the inquiry, could indicate that it doesn't believe it is going to succeed in acquiring the site.

Arrowcroft and the council favour a scheme with a 12,500-seat arena, shops restaurants and offices on the site and are seeking a compulsory purchase order for Stanhope and Schroders' land.

Stanhope and Schroders owns the land next to East Croydon station and has planning permission to build an office-led development.

A spokesman for Arrowcroft told the Croydon Guardian this morning: "Arrowcroft and Frogmore are keen to see this issue resolved in the best way possible and will look at all the options in order to do that. One of those options is to acquire Stanhope Schroders' interest in the site."

However, it could be a tough deal to thrash out as the two developers have very different ideas as to what the land is worth - with a £47million to £55million discrepancy.

Paul White of Frogmore, the company which is providing finance for the arena, said this week: "Notwithstanding the fact that we have now been told there is an overage provision, that won't get in the way of negotiations on our acquiring Stanhope and Schroders' interest in the site."

Overage provision is a condition attached to the sale of land, where anyone buying the site would pay more if, or when, planning permission for the site is granted.

Ken Frost, an avid campaigner against Arrowcroft's scheme, said: "The difference in valuations of the site would make it very difficult for the pair to come to an agreement over the price.

"£50million is a lot of money and I cannot see that Stanhope are going to bow under pressure and quite frankly I do not see how Arrowcroft have the kind of money Stanhope would want. The whole thing is just potty."

A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "We have always been positive about encouraging a dialogue between the two developers who are effectively competing to bring the Gateway site back to a worthwhile use.

"The council's strong preference for an arena-led scheme is well-known and has been consistently promoted throughout the inquiry hearings.

"However, if the parties are willing to negotiate then we would naturally regard this as a positive step."