(A37) Archive of Bulletins - May 2008 to December 2010
This collects together, for reference, the email bulletins sent out over the time period May 2008 to December 2010.
The bulletins go to the CPC email list.
Join the email list: go to contacts form
Crystal Palace Campaign - Bulletin December 2010
It seems an age since the last bulletin (June 2009) - just before the park Inquiry which ended in September 2009. And it's hard to believe that over 9 years have gone by since the multiplex cinema project in the park was cancelled. When I looked back at the pictures in that bulletin, showing the dilapidated state of the park, I could have taken them yesterday - nothing has changed.
13th December 2010
An auspicious date; the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government finally approved the Master Plan for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park. There is a six week period where objectors can attempt to challenge the decision by way of a Judicial review (JR) but only on the grounds of flawed procedure - this seems very unlikely and would be very expensive with a most uncertain outcome for the objectors.
The Master Plan followed years of consultation, exhibitions and debate, was approved by Bromley Council; called in; and an Inquiry held. After some issues delayed the final approval, the signature was obtained on 13th December 2010.
Everyone who is interested in the park can now look forward to a difficult but rewarding time when changes in the park will start to happen. However we can't be too optimistic that there will immediately be a flood of activity because of these difficult financial times - but improvements will happen and we need to support Bromley Council in finding a way to achieving what the Master Plan promises.
For now, it's time to relax and enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays and to hope that after so long we will, in 2011, at last see the beginning of change.
Have a very happy holiday!
Crystal Palace Campaign
PS: The Campaign website has lots of detail on the recent chain of events:
Click on the
• Master Plan one-stop-shop (red box)
• Approval, Minded and Report links take you to the recent Inquiry results and final approval documents
• "time-line" link attests to the perseverance and patience of all Master Plan/Park Regeneration supporters
• Rt Hon Eric Pickles link takes you to a smiling Secretary of State
Link to .pdf file form of bulletin (opens in a separate window)
Crystal Palace Campaign - May 2009
NSC - the GOOD news
I number of small groups of people visited the NSC at the end of April and were very pleasantly surprised at the progress made on its refurbishment. A picture report appears on the Campaign website - link on the HOME page. Compare the latest pictures with my earlier picture report and you'll see how far we've come. In summary - the "new" centre has indeed a new lease of life and looks great! It had a "soft opening" without a big fanfare - that will come later in summer, possibly around the time of the London Youth Games in July, or the Pentathlon in August. There's a link to the GLL website (2nd paragraph after the opening picture) where details of opening times etc. can be found.
Master Plan - Outline Planning Permission, Call-in Inquiry
On the 5th May a pre-inquiry meeting was held at the Council Chamber in the Bromley Civic Centre, chaired by the Planning Inquiry Inspector. This meeting was to establish the scope and organisation of the Planning Inquiry itself, the issues which brought about the call-in of the Master Plan were not themselves discussed. It had a number of interesting aspects to it... for one, the Inspector showed that he had a firm grip on what the issues were and would focus the Inquiry accordingly.
Following hearing a number of speakers attempting to get the date postponed and the venue changed, the Inspector decided that the original plans would stand i.e.
(1) the starting date of the Planning Inquiry remains at 7th July 2009; 10:00 - 17:00, with 1 hour for lunch - 20 days sitting allowed
(2) it will be held at the Bromley Civic Centre (room to be decided); one proviso was that, as appropriate a venue local to Crystal Palace Park may be used for an occasional meeting
An important allowance was stated namely that people other than the "Rule 6"* protagonists could speak if they wished and, in the normal course of events, could be questioned by the Rule 6 participants". A number of people present indicated their desire to speak (indeed the list is not closed) and their names were noted, including myself, the only person at that time electing to support the Master Plan; I have already submitted a five-page letter supporting the Outline Planning Application.
|Planning Inspector||Alan Novitsky PhD RIBA|
|Programme Officer||Chris Banks|
|Rule 6 Parties SUPPORTING||English Heritage|
|GLA - including Bromley Council|
|Rule 6 Parties AGAINST||Crystal Palace Community Association|
|Joseph Paxton Society|
|Residents of the North Side of Anerley Hill|
|Issues||-Sustainable Development (PPS1), including social cohesion and inclusion, the environment and natural resources, sustainable economic development; and design considerations.|
|-Housing (PPS3) including meeting housing requirements; widening housing opportunities; and creating mixed communities.|
|-Historic Environment (PPG15)|
|-Open Space (PPG17)|
|-Accordance with the Bromley UDP|
|-Accordance with the London Plan|
|In support of the Outline Planning Permission for the Master Plan:|
|Bromley Council||Tim Comyn (Barrister)|
|English Heritage||Bev Harris|
|Joseph Paxton Society||Alastair Cameron|
|Residents Ledrington Road||Steve Sawko|
|Sport England||Peter Durrans|
Campaign Stance - updated from last Bulletin (since I think it's worth re-stating)
The first important point to note is that the Inquiry is for the call-in of an OUTLINE planning permission. This sets out the limits of what is allowed to be done but it does not detail every facet of the proposals. There will be ample scope to debate these in the months and years to come, as long as the substance is within the scope of the outline planning permission.
If the Master Plan is rejected (assuming that any further appeals are not made) it probably means that there will be years of wrangling before there will be any agreement on park improvements. Nothing else is on the table! It only takes a short walk around the terraces to realise that the park is in a pretty bad state and needs a great deal of renovation work just to preserve its historic background and tidy up the muddy paths let alone do anything extra. After the demise of the multiplex cinema plans, it took a year just to get people together and a further 6 years to get to the planning application stage.
I believe that the Crystal Palace Campaign should take a more prominent role in supporting the Master Plan and I hope you will back me in this. We shouldn't let the voice of the majority of people - who actually support the overall plan - go unheard. Let me know what you think...
Thank you for the emails of support - there wasn't anyone who said that I should not pursue support for the Master Plan and there were a few emails supporting what I am doing. I sense that it isn't easy to solicit support but the statistics of the public exhibitions clearly show that a majority support the Master Plan.
These are still continuing at reasonably regular intervals - they include Chairmen of various local groups, the LDA, English Heritage etc. - and allow us to keep up with the latest news and remind the LDA (and others) that the community should always be allowed to have its say and have a meaningful stake in the future of Crystal Palace Park.
Representatives of various societies: Norwood Society, Joseph Paxton Society, Friends of Crystal Palace, Great exhibitions, Green Party, Lambethans, Crystal Palace Campaign, CP Museum, Tessa Jowell's constituency representative Dulwich Society - shortly to join us, Crystal Palace Foundation, Triangle Traders.
The meeting constituents wish to try and keep this group as representative of the community as possible. The only caveat being "good behaviour", which may exclude some people but not, we hope, Societies - so we can discuss issues in a constructive manner.
I remain optimistic about the future of the Park although in these tough economic times obtaining funding will require a lot of work - however, first things first - lets get that Outline Planning Application approved.
Essentially people or groups who indicate a substantial interest in the call-in and who have submitted their evidence before the end of March. I submitted my notes after that date since I did not want to be a "Rule 6 " supporter but believed that the pro-Master Plan best interests would be served by the various legal people engaged but with local support.
Crystal Palace Campaign - February 2009
The Master Plan has been called-in by the Government Office for London (GOL) in a letter from the Planning and Housing Division dated 28 January 2009. The call-in process puts the final decision on approving the planning application in the Hands of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government - currently Hazel Blears. An inquiry will be held under the auspices of a Planning Inspector. The recommendations by the Inspector are then sent to the Secretary of State who decides the final outcome. There are other legal processes which could follow that decision - depending on what it is. Nevertheless, it could be the final word in the matter.
The wording in the call-in letter is quite standard for this type of planning application and doesn't signify anything sinister. Certain items, detailed in section 4 (a) to (i) have been set out for particular investigation - that letter and some background information are on the Campaign website.
If the Master Plan is rejected (assuming that any further appeals are not made) it probably means that there will be years of wrangling before there will be any significant park improvements. Nothing else is on the table! It only takes a short walk around the terraces to realise that the park is in a pretty bad state and needs a great deal of renovation work just to preserve its historic background and tidy up the muddy paths let alone do anything extra. After the demise of the multiplex cinema plans, it took a year just to get people together and a further 6 years to get to the planning application stage.
I believe that the Crystal Palace Campaign should take a more prominent role in supporting the Master Plan and I hope you will back me in this. We shouldn't let the voice of the majority of people - who actually support the overall plan - go unheard. Let me know what you think.
The word is that the opening will be around late May. It must be on time for various events planned for the NSC including some significant swimming events. I'm told that the pool is now three-quarters full (of water!) and that work is furiously progressing on the diving pool. I am not surprised it has take much longer and been more expensive than at first budgeted; when I saw the "state of the pipes" (see my May 2008 report on the website) it was obvious that some serious costs would be involved in getting the plant and equipment working reliably again and refurbishing the many other deteriorating facilities. It seems, after all, we will end up with a great result.
These are continuing at reasonably regular intervals - including Chairmen of various local groups, the LDA, English Heritage etc. - and allow us to keep up with the latest news and remind the LDA (and others) that the community should always be allowed to have its say and have a meaningful stake in the future of Crystal Palace Park.
Apart from the difficulty of getting around, it was fun and covered over a lot of all too visible park problems! I heard no complaints from the children (off school) - hundreds of them were out and about enjoying the snow, the odd snowball battle and some sledging on a variety of weird contraptions.
Crystal Palace Campaign - December 2008
Bromley Council's Planning Development Committee met on 9 December 2008 and voted to approve the Application for Outline Planning Permission for the Master Plan for Crystal Palace Park.
This is a big step forward for the regeneration of the park (and the area); the plan is the most comprehensive scheme for the park since the Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham Hill in 1854. The Master Plan is large and complex, and clearly doesn't satisfy everyone. It is therefore bound to involve some controversy, probably the most difficult area being at Ledrington Road. Therefore, in some ways acceptance was a brave step for Bromley; but they recognised that a start had to be made after so many decades of neglect and that there was time to resolve some remaining problems.
The alternatives to acceptance of the plan doesn't bear thinking about. It is impossible to see how a totally universally accepted plan could have been developed, we would have been debating for another decade. For the many people who have spent years working towards this moment and for the majority of local people, a rejection would have been devastating. This once in a generation opportunity would have been lost.
So now, the real work starts now - how does the Master Plan get implemented?
A very important part of the 'how' question is the issue of park governance. Who will be the organisation to seek the finance needed to deliver the Master Plan? Bromley are the current owners of the park but the LDA (London Development Agency) have an option, until March 2009, to take over the ownership - the option could be extended if a decision isn't made by that time. At various meetings of the Park Working Group, part of the stakeholders dialogue process, options for ownership were discussed and a model of some kind of joint ownership was favoured. An excellent example is to be found in Paris where a single parks department looks after all the parks in the city. Next favoured but more practical (i.e. more likely to come about) was joint ownership by the neighbouring boroughs - Bromley, Lambeth, Croydon, Southwark and Lewisham - in conjunction with the LDA. There needs also to be a place for the voice of the community.
A lot of publicity has been given to opponents of the Master Plan. It's always much easier to get press coverage for the "Protesters Angry at Council Decision" headline rather than the "Everyone Agrees" type. Articles which begin "The bulldozers will soon be advancing on the park..." (South London Press last week) are very eye catching but... totally wrong in their implication! The last time bulldozers descended on the park was to remove all the concrete and steel (turnstiles) behind Crystal Palace Station and create a really pleasant and welcoming entrance. The bulldozers will also be needed for removing all the concrete around the NSC, thereby restoring the Paxton axis and creating a huge green space instead of grey concrete. So here we have a "bulldozers are good" scenario! So, if you're keen website visitors - why not do 'posts', or letter-to-the-editor, anywhere you can in support of the park regeneration.
For the time being the facilitation/dialogue process is in abeyance. This is an opportune moment to extend thanks to Nigel Westaway (and associates) for their perseverance and patience in keeping the process going through some difficult times. The Campaign originally hired Nigel to kick off a meeting, aimed at reconciliation, following the demise of the multi-plex development. From the beginnings set in train at the "Battersea Meeting" it turned into the dialogue process which has, 6 years later, culminated in the Master Plan. Once again, thanks Nigel.
Have a very happy Christmas, Channuka, New Year - whatever you celebrate; and look forward also to happy new new beginnings for our park and our neighbourhood.
Crystal Palace Campaign
* I rarely comment on press stories - occasionally I feel it's necessary.
Crystal Palace Campaign
Bulletin 30 November 2008
MASTER PLAN for CRYSTAL PALACE PARK: Planning Meeting 9th December 2008
After a long summer hiatus, we are now rapidly approaching a very important date in the history of Crystal Palace Park - the date of Bromley Council's Planning Meeting's consideration of the Master Plan. If approved, outline planning permission will be given for a major refurbishment of the Park at a cost of between £40 and £70 million. This would signal the greatest set of improvements proposed for the park since the building of the original Leisure Gardens and the "Sydenham Crystal Palace" itself.
Bromley Council have decided that, at the planning meeting, the various "against" groups can divide 25 minutes to voice their opposition amongst themselves and the "for" group will consist of the Crystal Palace Campaign, 3 minutes, and the LDA, 22 minutes.
The LDA have an option to take over ownership of the park - their decision will no doubt depend on the outcome of the Master Plan application. A whole new future for the park could start here!
Three minutes is not a lot of time for the "for" community to show its support but we must make the most of it. We have worked for so long and spent so much time talking, thinking and consulting that the opportunity to voice these views is really important. This is the basis of what I propose to say (although three minutes will limit the detail):
1. Master Plan is the first comprehensive plan for regenerating the park since the Crystal Palace was moved there and the leisure gardens built in 1854
2. Generally approve of the Master Plan in most aspects
3. It was thoroughly researched including a tree survey, fauna and flora survey (ecology including bats), historical elements survey.
4. It had the most comprehensive public consultation process of all such applications and received a high approval rate
5. The proposed housing is a way of helping finance the scheme and only occupies a very small area of land (less than 2% of the park area) which is currently not accessible to the public – therefore it is pragmatic to accept the proposals since there will also be a net gain of accessible green land
6. The Environmental Impact Assessment did not show up anything which could lead to objections to the Master Plan
7. A way was found to preserve the NSC – listed building
8. It will enable the building of a new sports centre
I hope you will indicate your support for this approach - and, if you wish, comment on the points listed - so that I feel I have the backing of the Campaign which laboured for so long to defeat the multiplex plan. We then set up the dialogue process to produce a positive outcome for the Park - which this will be.
Also you might like to consider attending the Planning Meeting at the:
Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH
Monday 9th December 7:30 pm (time to be confirmed - or check Bromley's website - or telephone them on 020 8464 3333; parking is available alongside the building.
The actual presence of as many people as possible who support the Master Plan is very important.
Crystal Palace Campaign
..to everyone who responded to my queries in the last couple of bulletins. I believe I have a good idea of your views and, coupled with many discussions with local people (including many who visited the October Master Plan exhibition), I feel that I can now respond on behalf of the Campaign to Bromley Council. I am aware that I won't be able to satisfy everyone; that is the way of the world. My response won't be very different from what I sent out last time - it can be seen at the bottom of this bulletin.
17 May Main Group Meeting
Centred around discussions on housing and funding. In considering the amount of funding needed, although £67 million was set out to be the total proposed, it should be remembered that the first aim was to get the basic changes done. This amounted to about £40 million of which £13 million could be funded from the housing contribution.
There was some discussion on the results of the Mayoral election, the planning application process and planning scenarios. The last item briefly looked at the possibilities arising from the potential outcomes of the planning application. More details will be available when the meeting "wall record" has been posted out.
Bromley Council Deadline
After many days off-line, the Bromley Council website is once more accessible. I put some contingency plans for contacting Bromley Council on the Master Plan page but these are now no longer required. The "Submit Comments to Bromley Council" green-arrow-click can now be used.
END DATE: end of May
Everyone should consider responding individually to Bromley Council in support of the Master Plan in order to deliver £40 million of basic (and much needed) improvements to Crystal Palace Park and in the hope that the remaining £27 million might be forthcoming to create something a bit more special.
Response to the planning application on behalf of the Crystal Palace Campaign to Bromley Council
"The majority of views expressed to myself as Campaign Chairman shows support for the Master Plan as the right approach for the Park.
"In this urban setting it is, of course, desirable to retain as much open, green space as possible. So although a small footprint (about 2 acres) has been reserved around the park periphery for residential development, it is recognised that this represents a tiny proportion of the overall size of both the park (about 200 acres) and the land made newly accessible to the public (about 25 acres). It is, therefore, difficult to raise a significant rational objection to the housing which will occupy just 1% of the total park site and is on space currently not open to the public.
“The Master Plan sets out limits to what can be done – this is the nature of an Outline Planning Application. Within these limits the Campaign is certainly concerned that the execution of the Master Plan should be to the highest standards, that the details should be carefully thought through and that the public should continue to be consulted during the design phase.
“We would like to compliment the Master Planners, their whole team and the LDA for generating a well researched and, for the first time, comprehensive scheme to revitalise the park. We have no doubt it will greatly improve the park, draw new visitors to the area and help regenerate the commercial centres around the periphery of the park.
“At this stage, there is no point in debating the details although we look forward to doing so when this application has been granted and the next stage of the process reached. This approach might be considered unusual. However, so much detail and thought have gone into the application that, apart from minor concerns, most of what has been discussed at the extensive local meetings and exhibitions has been properly included and indeed some things excluded! Applications which are vague require much more careful attention to ensure hidden or implied aspects get adequate scrutiny.
"In conclusion we would like to endorse the granting of planning permission for the Master Plan.
"We, therefore, in your terms, do not object to the application."
Crystal Palace Campaign - Bulletin April 2008
There are just three issues to report on in this bulletin:
Rebuild Crystal Palace Campaign
A number of people have supported the idea of building a one-third sized Crystal Palace look-alike on the ridge area of Crystal Palace Park. Their website says that the main tenants would be a "leisure group" and an "hotel". There are very few other details except for some "artists impressions" of the completed building. There is no mention of how the large numbers of car movements will be dealt with or what the environmental impact might be. Will there be restaurants which will compete with the local excellent "triangle choices"? How much will visitors have to pay to participate in the possible offerings?
The Campaign took a view (against) on this proposal years ago when it was put forward as an alternative to the cinema multiplex. Since there is a potential conflict with the Masterplan which may be delayed or even totally rejected, I would like to gauge your views now so that we can properly put forward a position.
This is not a formal survey so, after considering what such a huge commercial building in the park might mean for the park and the Masterplan, let me know. (Sorry for the language, it's simply carrying forward our previous views.) Even a reply as simple as "Support" or "Don't Support" the rebuild Crystal Palace concept would be of great help.
Having read most of the basic documents in detail - those now on the campaign website - I find my view unchanged i.e. of a "well researched", "comprehensive" document re-inforced with extensive public consultation. I will write to Bromley Council with the Campaign's response along these lines unless you object, so I would appreciate your feedback as soon as possible. Bromley's consultation is proceeding of a fashion but, for such a wide ranging Planning Application it is surprisingly low-key. Nevertheless, I would urge you to write to them (link to the form on the Campaign or Bromley website) stating your views. It is particularly important for the "I do not object" respondents, since the active 'No' people will be sure to let Bromley know what they think. Don't let this opportunity slip away.
After some initial hiccoughs, the Capel Manor menagerie is open to the public:
Saturday: 1200 to 1600
Sunday: 1200 to 1600
Monday: 1030 - 1200 and 1430 to 1600
Tuesday: 1030 - 1200 and 1430 to 1600
Thursday: 1030 - 1200 and 1430 to 1600
Friday: 1030 - 1200 and 1430 to 1600
No doubt it will take a little time to operate smoothly, to finalise all the building work, the animal transfers and sort out security shifts... but, after a long gestation period it seems that we at last have live park animals back to stay.
Crystal Palace Campaign
Crystal Palace Campaign - Bulletin March 2008
One topic dominates our news and that is the Master Plan for Crystal Palace Park. It was submitted to Bromley Council, the planning authorities, for Outline Planning approval last November (2007) and is likely to come before a Planning Committee meeting in late summer this year (2008). Outline Planning approval means that the Master Plan can be executed following a detailing phase - it does not mean that everything has to be completed, rather it can be looked on as forming a maximum boundary.
Documents (for review)
Because of the difficulty many people have had getting hold of the information on the internet in order to review it, I have put all of the really pertinent documents on our web site:
There is an un-missable large red box on the Home page - click on it and you will be taken to a single page with links to all the documents you might need and a link to the actual Bromley form which allows you to feed back comments. Some document files are quite large and may take a minute or two to download by broadband. Dial-in users will have to wait a bit longer. The documents can also be seen at Bromley Council offices and at libraries around the park.
Deadline for comments
Although you can write in to Bromley up to the day before the final meeting (when it is announced), it would be best to get comments in by April/May so that they can properly be reviewed by Bromley.
Speakers (at the Council Planning meeting)
While speakers will be allowed from 3-5 minutes (to be decided) to comment at the Planning Meeting, there may be a pre-Committeee meeting in order to organise speakers with common points to make. This will allow a wider view to be heard. These are not necessarily speakers who may be against the Master Plan, but should also be for those who have PRO views.
Pro or Con
I believe, as many people who saw the Master Plan exhibition do, that this plan for regenerating Crystal Palace Park is a "chance in a generation". There have been many failed efforts in the past I suppose including the multiplex fiasco. Some people don't like the residential proposals - however, they take up a very small area of he park and, indeed, the scheme involves a large net gain of accessible area for the park. The LDA have said that, if possible they won't pursue housing if other funding can be found and here is every reason to believe they are sincere in this.
So, my recommendation is that you contact Bromley and, whatever comments you make regarding details of the plan, be supportive and click on the "I do not object" button. It is always easier to object vociferously than approve but it is vital that Bromley hear the message loud and clear that there is a large body of people who want to see Crystal Palace Park regenerated into something of which we can be proud and which reflects its importance for local people, London as a whole and further afield.
PS - Take a look at the pictures of the Capel Manor establishment (on the website) - they are hoping now to open at Easter time.
Crystal Campaign - Bulletin June 2007
from Ray Sacks Chairman
As we get closer to the delivery of the Master Plan for Crystal Palace Park in September or October this year, it seems a great time to take stock of what's been achieved and what lies ahead. Following years of consultation, debate, questionnaires, marquee events, community meetings, a truly mixed bag of wild media stories, Park Working Group meetings, Sports Working Group meetings, Main Group meetings, leaflets ("parknews", latest 4th edition) - have I left anything out? - all most people want is to "get on with it".
Alas, not so easy! A Master Plan is fairly detailed but its publication does not enable a single blade of grass to be cut. The planning application will be considered by Bromley Council and, following a period of formal public consultation (part of the planning process) a final decision might be expected by late 2008 - this is no speedy process. Then the detailed planning phase begins. In the time-line prepared by the Master Planners, the period known as "following years" will see the beginning and continuation of the "construction phase". The arrows signifying "construction", "funding", "ongoing consultation" extend into an undefined future time scale.
A number of matters need to be resolved along the way. The process must then start again, mapping out the Sports Centre for construction post Olympic games.
The survivors of this process will have the great benefit of seeing a truly revived Park with a spanking new Sports Centre, greened-over concrete areas, many previously inaccessible acres now gained for Park visitors - and general happiness and regeneration in the area. Just one caveat... only if the funding, at least £67 million for most of the works prior to the sports centre, can be secured.
None the less we are at the point where the Master Planners have done a great job in putting together the best plan seen for Crystal Palace Park since... when? Since the Sydenham Crystal Palace was first moved into the beautiful surrounds of Norwood, the tranquil beauty of which was to be changed forever(1)? Since the fire of 1936? Since the great "Trophy Architecture" debate during the threatened multiplex era?
Repeatedly at public meetings the current plans have been welcomed enthusiastically. They can never hope to satisfy everybody but the greatest part of what's been proposed has indeed been seen as a tremendous leap forward. Areas of the Park considered in the process and reported in meeting notes are: Hilltop, Upper Terrace, Lower Terrace, Transitional Landscape, Park centre and Sports Area, English Landscape, Cricket Pitch Area, Lakes and Pre-historic Area, Anerley Hill Edge, Other Park Edges, Rockhills Entrance, Sydenham Entrance, Penge Entrance, Station Entrance, Norwood Triangle Entrance, Park Ecology and Wildlife. There are also issues of security, lighting, access, parking, traffic flow, sustainability, interpretation (history, signage etc.). Only one issue remains contentious and that is the proposal for housing at the Rockhills corner and at some points along Crystal Palace Park Road.
We need also to list the other occupants of the Park needing inclusion. All the sports, the anglers, the cafe, the Caravan Club (the largest commercial venture in the Park, occupying about 6 acres of precious parkland), the reservoir, the One-O-Clock club, the radio and TV mast and the London Radio Car Club! I fear the LRCC may not be high on many peoples amenities lists of "good things to keep" in the Park - which could be a pity. Walking around with my son the other weekend, I talked to some of the members racing cars and was told that they had many links with schools. Colin, one of the members, said it "keeps kids off the streets". They hold club competitions and international events. In fact it's the only such track in London. What are your views? I think the Master Planners should rise to the challenge of finding a (quiet) way of keeping them in the frame!
The Park is very complex in content and carries with it a great weight of history. All of this needs accommodating. And yet, I think we can, at last, allow ourselves to feel really positive about the potential outcome of this new energy. The sooner we move forward, the better....
On that note, you may have seen the removal of swathes of concrete behind the station and of the steel bars of the turnstiles - the CPC website has some pictures. This is a good start, even if rather modest. It is interesting to experience how a relatively simple improvement can make such a difference to the Park vista.
The CPC website has moved to www.crystalpalacecampaign.org - the old site is still where it was, but won't be given much attention and, in a few months will simply consist of a re-direct page. Shortly the live site will be given a bit of a facelift. It has served the Campaign and others well - just over 93,000 hits to date. It covers archival material (remnants of THE Campaign) and will keep up to date with news of the Park. In fact, since the dialogue process may be scaled down after the Planning Application has been submitted, it will become even more useful as a means of communication.
The next meeting is scheduled to be around the time of the planning application submission. Details in due course
Capel Manor College
Another positive note (as you may now know), Capel Manor has been granted planning permission to take over the old farm buildings. The Park will not only have the animals but also the residency of a well known and reputable institution teaching horticulture, gardening, landscaping, floristry, animal care etc. Their presence will be of great mutual benefit to the Park, local people and students of the college. Let's hope they are able to open up very soon. Congratulations to their Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Dowbiggin, who has just been awarded an OBE for services to further education.
Have a happy summer,
(1) see "The Phoenix Suburb" by Alan R Warwick 2nd Ed (1982) page 101
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