PLANNED PARK CAFE DESCRIBED AS ‘AUSCHWITZ SHED’
THE PLANNED new cafe for Crystal Palace park has been described as an ‘Auschwitz shed’ in an email from a local campaigner.
The comment comes in an email from Nick Goy of West Beckenham residents association following last Thursday’s meeting of a Bromley council plans sub-committee which decided to defer the application for the cafe which, if approved, will stand near the Penge gate.
A copy of the email has been seen by News From Crystal Palace.
News From Crystal Palace understands that Mr Goy has said the quote was from an unnamed resident.
West Beckenham Residents Association’s official website says it “covers an area of about five square miles in the wards of Clock House, the Beckenham side of Penge and Cator, and Kelsey and Eden Park.”
Nick Goy’s email (with one paragraph deleted by News From Crystal Palace) reads as follows:
FYI, I took the opportunity of speaking for three mins against the auschwitz-shed-like proposed eyesore cafe at Plans 4 Cttee this evening.
I did not have great hopes as this is a proposal backed by the council, with ‘free money’ from the GLA, being decided by the council.
I was to be surprised.
Visiting CP ward councillor, Angela Wilkins, not on the Cttee, spoke in favour of the thing, backed by the Chairman, Cllr Scoates and one of my own ward councillors, Vanessa Allen, whose only concern was insufficient toilets.
Cllr Fawthrop acknowledged the photos / architects impressions I had sent, and criticised the design as being ‘neither fish nor foul’, neither modern, nor contemporary with a Victorian park.
Cllr Michael Turner seconded his motion to defer a decision to seek a better design, commenting on the unsightly weathering habit of wooden clad buildings.
The motion to defer was amazingly approved 5:2 (the two were Cllrs Scoates and Vanessa Allen).
I did, in correspondence raise a large number of issues, the principal one being that it is not the combined cafe + dinosaur interpretation centre consented in the 2007 Masterplan, which Bromley approved.
There are more problems with the proposal, see previous email attachments.
It is unclear how much of the design might change, eg maybe only cladding material, so it may come back not much different, but I was expecting the application to be rubber stamped.
It has taken a huge amount of work. The more you read beneath the gloss of ‘a new £875k cafe for CP Park’ the more you see how poor the design is.
In terms of value for public money, it is an appalling waste, too, in line with other large wastes of money on trophy architecture ideas in the park, not least the rusty, rotting £1m+ concert platform.
The existing cafe is in recently refurbished condition. It only suits some people’s purposes to be dismissive about it, eg political kudos or hopes of re-letting at higher rent. The money won’t go on maintaining the park, or the dinosaurs, or a new Trust. All that will happen is that Bromley will cut its funding quid-pro-quo, or even-more-pro-quo.
This deferral does not really help the family-run cafe business, unless the extra time is used, say, to send more objections in to the planning office and ward councillors, who all reportedly support it……..
………….To me, the mature park, with its delightful vestiges of its past, are what is great.
People keep using, abusing it, it for grandiose grant seeking schemes, or putting in ‘contemporary’ but quickly dated buildings that architects and consultants are happy to peddle to the decision makers and flatter their egos, for a price. This will be stunning, that will make money, etc.
A little more realism, humility, respect for nature, heritage, and the public’s views is required, in my view.
End of ramble