Hammerson’s plans for the Whitgift Centre in Croydon will be unveiled this evening in the next stage of the battle with rival Westfield to win control of the site.

Hammerson, which leads a group called the Croydon Alliance, comprising Royal London Asset Management and IBRC Assurance Company, hopes to present its plans for a “united vision for the future of shopping and leisure” to Croydon Council’s planning committee tonight.

The Whitgift Quarter will comprise of 130,000 square metres of retail and restaurant space, which will be spread across two floors with double-height flagship stores to attract top retailers. The shopping site will be anchored by four department stores.

The remaining space will be taken up by parking spaces, student accommodation and residential units.

An east and west route has been developed within the shopping desination, designed to connect East Croydon Station to Old Town.

Hammerson retail managing director Lawrence Hutchings said: “This is about more than a shopping centre – this is a bold and deliverable vision for the future of Croydon as a place people want to spend their time, whether for shopping, work or leisure.”

The works would be carried out in a two-phase development to minimise disruption. Subject to planning, buidling could begin in the first quarter of 2014 with completion as early as 2017.

Westfield, which is aiming to secure the site for its third London shopping centre, has an agreement with the Whitgift Foundation, the freeholder of the centre.