Two councillors have been invited to a Rod Stewart concert in Hamburg as part of a second all-expenses paid research trip for the Croydon Gateway scheme.

Arrowcroft, the councillor's preferred developer for the Gateway site, has offered to pay for the trip in July to allow them to see the type of arena they want to build in Croydon.

Despite being blasted for a similar fact-finding mission to see Bruce Springsteen last October, two more have been asked to put on their Handbags and Gladrags for another trip to Germany. Addiscombe's ward councillors - Andrew Price and Maria Garcia have been asked to attend the concert on July 18.

Coun Garcia turned Arrowcroft down but Coun Price said he was still considering the offer. He added: "The Gateway scheme is one of the biggest issues facing residents in Croydon and is the one I get the most contact about from constituents.

"I am not in favour of the Arrowcroft scheme and I would like to see first hand how the Hamburg arena works. I don't see this as a conflict of interests because I am a million miles away from being supportive of the scheme at the moment but I am open to the evidence."

Opposition leader, Councillor Tony Newman, said: "Following the previous Tory jolly to see Bruce Springsteen at the taxpayer's expense, this would be a slap in the face for the hard-pressed users of our vital public services."

Leader of the council, Coun Mike Fisher, said the decision was down to the councillors. He added: "This was always going to be a difficult situation because if the councillors do not go then they are damned by the media for not bothering to look at the pros and cons and if they do go they get the same treatment.

"Councillors Price and Garcia are both ward councillors in an area affected by the scheme and I am sure it will prove very useful to them to see the context of the arena, however it is a decision for the councillors to make."

A spokesman for Arrowcroft said: "We have invited a small number of councillors to the arena in July. The purpose of the trip is to allow the councillors to experience the trip first hand and one can only fully appreciate the design of the type of arena planned for Croydon if they see it themselves.

Arrowcroft will be paying for the trip so there is no cost to the public purse."