LONDON-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has cleared Minerva’s planning application for one of the UK’s largest town centre shopping developments at Park Place in Croydon, South London. The one million-sf development will include 103 shops, 13 large stores, 17 restaurants and a flagship department store opening onto a new town square.

Last month Minerva completed its acquisition of the Allders department store chain. Allders had been lined up as the anchor tenant for the new scheme, relocating from its nearby flagship site in the Whitgift Centre. But there has been repeated speculation that Minerva was looking for a stronger anchor for the new scheme, possibly John Lewis. Minerva’s latest announcement fails to identify Allders as anchor tenant.

Minerva Chief Executive Andrew Rosenfeld said: “We welcome the decision by the Government to effectively approve the development of Park Place and we are looking forward to making a major contribution to Croydon’s regeneration and to London’s economy through this £500 million ($800 million) shopping centre development. Park Place will be one of London’s largest urban regeneration projects and will elevate Croydon to one of the top retail destinations in the UK.”

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