MAJOR INVESTMENT IN CRYSTAL PALACE PARK (car parking charges possible – but no more pop concerts)
MAJOR INVESTMENT in Crystal Palace park could get the go-ahead at a meeting of Bromley council’s executive being held tomorrow evening (Tuesday).
Six schemes set to get the green light are: conservation of the dinosaurs; building of new café near the Penge entrance; conservation of the six sphinxes; removal of hard standing; removal of turnstiles; and building of a new skate park.
A new idea for a restaurant “or other business” somewhere on the hilltop site fronting Crystal Palace Parade – is also on the agenda.
Three schemes being shelved are: restoration of the concert bowl which experts say is unsuitable for “pop concerts, full orchestras or many other performance types”; planned removal of central and central axis parking, and restoration of the Paxton basin.
Proposals include the twin-track setting up of a new form of governance for the park; bringing to fruition aspects of the Masterplan (approved following a major public inquiry in 2009); realising capital receipts; and creating a revenue generating activity to enable a sustainable business model for a new management model such as the already-reported trust. (See: TRUST PLAN FOR CRYSTAL PALACE PARK March 20, 2015)
Member approval will be sought to proceed with the formation of a trust “or other not-for profit management option” says a report to the executive.
The moves follow the collapse of Bromley’s dealings with Chinese developers ZhongRong (see: CHINESE WANTED TO ACQUIRE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF CRYSTAL PALACE PARK – Bromley’s bombshell letter) March 20, 2015
Other proposals include using Capel Manor college (who are based in the park’s farm) to provide a lower cost grounds maintenance service and developing the events and activities programme (despite no plans to fund the repairing of the concert bowl).
There are also plans for a commercial business being built on the top site (such as a restaurant), and car parking charges being introduced (another part of the report highlights problems with on-street parking in the vicinity if parking spaces went).
The report says that on Saturday 21 February the Crystal Palace Park Community Stakeholder Group invited groups who were actively engaged in improving the park to a meeting to discuss future park governance and the set-up of a trust or similar.
The group prepared a statement following this meeting sharing their vision for the future management model and demonstrating their support..
“If members approve the set-up of a trust or similar, the Community Stakeholder Group will work with the council to engage the wider community in its development.
“The engagement of local communities, in the setting up and support of an ambitious programme of change and investment in the park, is critical” the report adds.
“If the recommendations in the report are agreed, another report will be brought back to members in the autumn updating them on progress and confirming timescales and the anticipated delivery programme.”
Further reading: MasterPlan – please go to Crystal Palace Campaign website – search MasterPlan one stop shop in ‘park working group’ box