PARK: “CHALLENGES AHEAD ARE DAUNTING” say stakeholder group
A NEW TRUST taking over Crystal Palace park should be.operating by 2017.
In a statement the Crystal Palace park community stakeholder group (CSG) say: “We now have the opportunity to plan a sustainable future for our park without the fear of an unexpected proposal stymieing its regeneration.
“The recent Zhong Rong Group ‘scheme’ was the fourth commercially driven proposal the top of the park to be made in the in the last 25 years. “Regardless of their desirability, they were all undeliverable.
“The challenges ahead are daunting. “The new trust should be operating by 2017 but this is a remarkable opportunity.
“The CSG will be producing regular updates on developments over the next months and will be holding a series of drop-in sessions in the park’s information centre.
“In the meantime, all those individuals and community organisations who have worked so hard to improve the park over the last three years, can take some satisfaction in knowing that the credibility their work earned them played no small part in this historic decision to establish a new form of governance for the park.”
The CSG are one of several stakeholder groups appointed by Bromley council to the Crystal Palace park management board to take forward the park’s regeneration.
“Exploring the different ways in which the park could be managed, the vehicles through which this might be achieved and the role of the community is one of the main responsibilities of the CSG.
“Members of the group are all volunteers drawn from the local community with a variety of skills including film production, marketing, finance, education, nature conservation, community engagement, planning and regeneration.
“In February the CSG held a governance workshop with officers from Bromley council and representatives of the various community groups undertaking projects in the park. “Facilitated by land management services, there was unanimous support to move towards a community led ‘trust’ type structure to manage and govern the park.”
Bromley council say the latest moves will include the production of a regeneration plan to improve the park, bringing to fruition aspects of the Masterplan, creating a sustainable business model for the park’s future.
Bromley council leader Cllr Stephen Carr said, “We have been working alongside local residents for many years now and this proposal has always been part of our vision. “There are many considerations which need to be examined and naturally, finance will be part of this.
“The Masterplan proposals will need to be carefully assessed to ensure that a viable plan comes forward. “Improving and sustaining this much loved park remains at the very heart of what we are looking to do and the long term governance proposals are part of this.”
A first round of community grant fund applications are now being assessed, with grants of up to £20,000 available for community or resident groups to deliver specific projects and activities in the park, the council added.
To find out more please go to www.crystalpalacepark.org.uk