“We do not want to see, as happened in the past, years more of legal battles which will only serve to delay much needed regeneration and improvements to the park and create further uncertainty for its future” says Martin Tempia.
His comments in a stakeholder group press release follow the announcement of plans to rebuild the outer part of the Crystal Palace on its footprint at the top of Crystal Palace park (see News From Crystal Palace October 3rd)
design, economic viability and more importantly the environmental and
social sustainability of any new development on the top site of this
historic Grade II* listed park which is designated as Metropolitan Open
“There are also major concerns about the wider consequences this
development will have for local businesses in the Crystal Palace Triangle
and surrounding communities.
“With the principle of the regeneration of the park at the heart of its
work, the CSG must listen to any park scheme which has the prospect of
improving the park for local users.”
The sums talked about by Chinese developers ZhongRong
Group are considerable but there is still little detail and information on
the appearance, function and environmental effects of the proposed new
development, added Mr Tempia.
“Comprehensive public consultation has been promised by the developer, the Greater London Authority and Bromley council.
“The Community Stakeholder Group will press the proposers of the scheme to ensure they deliver on these promises.
“It is also essential that they provide detailed information on the design, function and likely consequences of this development on the park and surrounding communities.
“Without this, it will be impossible to determine whether this proposal represents an acceptable way forward for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park.”
In their initial press release the CSG had also said: “The project is at very early stages and as yet, there is little detail and information on the appearance, function and environmental effects of the proposed new development.
“It is potentially a major opportunity for the park with significant benefits, but there are a number of major concerns, not least traffic, which must addressed.
“There are also the very important issues of development on a Grade II* listed park and Metropolitan Open Land, the loss of a considerable area of parkland, public access to the park and ownership.
“The CSG supports a regenerated park and with this principle at the heart of our work. “We will listen to any park scheme which has the prospect of improving the park for local users – but is this the right scheme to achieve that?
“A detailed cost benefit analysis will be required as well as a Transport Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and the many other analyses attendant on a full planning application.
“The developer and its consultant Arup face some major challenges if a scheme of this magnitude is to progress to a successful planning application.
“Transparency and meaningful community engagement and involvement will be key.
“The current view of government (and the planning system) is that it takes
very seriously the participation of local communities in any major
developments which are proposed for their locality – we strongly concur
with that principle.
“We look forward to participating in any consultation with respect to new proposals for the park and which seeks to involve the local community, organisations and businesses.”
Martin Tempia, said: “For the last two years the CSG has worked with Bromley council, the Greater London Authority, community organisations and other statutory bodies, to establish a viable plan for the future of the CP Park.
“We believed this work had resulted in an emerging consensus on how the park can be regenerated sustainably and its future secured.
“We only became aware of the proposed redevelopment of the top site by ZhongRong Group and its consultant Arup some two months ago.”
The CSG added that the Greater London Authority (GLA) put forward a “Ten Point Plan” at the community conference in October 2012 for the start of the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park (CP Park). The plan highlighted a number of items taken from the Masterplan which would make a significant and timely contribution towards the realisation of important aspects of the plan.
The process of finding the finance for this work is well advanced and, via
various sources including a major application to Heritage Lottery Fund
Parks for People (HLF), will generate a fund of about £7.5 million. Work
on one aspect of this plan is due to begin shortly.
To find out more www.crystalpalacepark.org.uk