A BILLIONAIRE Chinese developer wants to rebuild the Crystal Palace.
News of the plans – revealed in Property Week – have sparked an immediate response from Bromley council which merely claims “there has been a very early conversation with a developer who may be interested in developing the so-called top site.”
The revelations of meetings involving the developer, Bromley, the Greater London Authority and Arup a global consulting firm of engineers and designers, are certain to create absolute uproar amongst local residents and local amenity groups who have opposed various plans for the top site in the past. (See below).
Property Week reports that Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings, part of ZhongRong Group, proposes to develop an exact replica of the 900,000 sq ft cast-iron and glass structure = adding that it is understood ZhongRong Holdings submitted initial proposals for the reconstruction in June.
It adds: “The company is working with the Greater London Authority, Bromley Council and Arup in early-stage talks to develop the proposals, with a view to submitting a planning application later this year. “The new building will be a public space for exhibitions and other events.
“The scheme also contains retail and other commercial elements. “However, the parties involved are understood to be keen to ensure the scheme does not detract from the “Crystal Palace Triangle” — three streets close to the park with a burgeoning cluster of independent shops and restaurants.”
The article also claims – somewhat bizarrely – that “It is understood the idea to put housing on the park is not being discussed now because of the previous controversy it aroused.”
Bromley council have now written in the following terms to interested parties:
As you are aware, we have been looking at all the options to improve Crystal Palace Park, to try and secure the long term future of the park. You will recall that we have been looking at different funding streams, including grant funding and the potential to divert monies being given by South London Boroughs from the Lea Valley Park to Crystal Palace Park. Some of these options and ideas have not yet materialised but when a proposal looks like it may be viable, we will of course, share it with the wider community, along with an outline of what the various processes might be.
As part of sharing information, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that there has been a very early conversation with a developer who may be interested in developing the so called top site. These discussions are at an extremely early stage but it is understood that the developer is keen to bring forward much needed improvements to the park. Any such proposal would be subject to planning permission. However it is too early to specify what the plans may include as they are not yet available but it is not envisaged that they would include residential development.
Please be assured that should proposals become sufficiently advanced they will be shared widely. Please also be assured that when we are able to say more, we will of course, let you know. Kind regards,Community Development Team London Borough of Bromley.
“It was an innocent-looking planning application, which someone has since described as looking like it was about tennis courts. “On April 16 1997 London and Regional Properties applied to Bromley council for outline planning permission for “the development of leisure and recreational facilities, car park deck and association (sic) ramps and surface car parking at the site of the former Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace Parade.” It would lead to mass demonstrations, the occupation of the site by eco-warriors, several court cases and a three-day long licensing justices hearing.” (full text of article on the Crystal Palace Campaign’s 10th anniversary can be found on the Crystal Palace Magazine website.)
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