SHEET - used on 26th February anti-UCI
- The 1990 Crystal Palace Act states
that any building on the tree-lined ridge of Crystal Palace Park
should reflect the architectural style of the original Crystal
Palace. English Heritage and the Royal Fine Art Commission
concurred that the Ian Ritchie designed airport-terminal
look-alike, with space for 950 cars on the roof, does in fact
reflect the architectural style of Sir Joseph Paxton's elegant,
glass conservatory-style, Crystal Palace built at Sydenham in
- Crystal Palace Park is owned by the London Borough of Bromley
and is bordered by four other London
boroughs: Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth and Croydon. Lewisham,
Southwark and Croydon have spoken out against the development and
Lambeth demanded an environmental assessment.
- In the years leading up to (and since) the granting of
planning permission, there has been minimal consultation with
local people, of whom the vast majority do not live in the borough
of Bromley. These people, in the adjoining boroughs, have not
provided Bromley with a mandate for this development.
- Bromley claimed, when submitting the Single Regeneration
Budget bid to the Government Office for London, to have already
created a community forum but it was not until three months after
the SRB bid was successful that it was formed.
- In the Bromley Officers Report to the Development Control
Committee on 6th May 1999 when full planning permission was
granted, the Leisure and Community Services Department invited
public comment on this development. It states: "these were mainly
negative, reflecting points mentioned in the objection letters.
Strong concerns have been expressed by residents and adjacent
authorities." Despite these negative comments Members granted full
- Bromley's bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £28
million for 'restoration' of the Park landscape was turned down as
being too contemporary. They were awarded only £2.1 million
for specific restoration works. Bromley stated that this
landscaping was intrinsically linked 'to the top site development'
and that neither could be truly successful without the other.
Despite their failure to obtain funding they proceeded to grant
full planning permission.
- After neglecting this area of Crystal Palace Park since
inheriting it from the GLC in 1986, Bromley Council plans to sell
a 125-year lease to the developers London and Regional Properties
Ltd. for £6.1 million.
- The building will cover 12 acres of a tree lined ridge - the
highest point in south London, Grade II* listed, designated
Metropolitan Open Land and abutting a conservation area. This
irreplaceable loss of prime south London parkland will set a
- The principal financial and commercial anchor for the
development will be UCI's 4,800-seat, 18-20-screen multiplex
cinema. The development will house restaurants and may also
include dance and drinking venues and some retail outlets but the
developer, London & Regional Properties Ltd. has been granted
planning permission on the basis that its use can be altered at
any time, to any leisure use and without referral back to the
Council. The cinemas will be run by United Cinemas International
(UCI) one of the world's largest cinema chains - owned by
Paramount / Universal and ultimately the huge American corporation
- Despite being five times over the EU indicative thresholds, no
environmental assessment has been called for and no public enquiry
- The building covers the area of two large football stadiums,
standing 21m (70ft) high and 290m (950ft) wide with 53,000 sq.
metres of floor space. It has provision for a 950-space car park
on the roof, reached by two large concrete vehicle ramps. The 8m
(26ft) lower portion is of 'gabion' wall design (caged granite
rocks - as seen beside motorways and to support river banks.)
- Bromley Council and the developer's traffic assessment has
failed to address the concerns of local people. It is estimated
that there will be 17,500 extra vehicle movements on Saturdays
alone, adding to the already heavy burden of traffic in the
- There are no underground links to Crystal Palace. Public
transport relies on buses and a railway station. The roads are
mostly narrow, Victorian, residential streets suffering heavy
traffic and regular gridlock.
- It is estimated that there is a massive shortfall in car
parking requirements. These cars will park in the narrow, mainly
residential side streets close by.
- The 0.4 mile stretch of park on the edge of Crystal Palace
Parade will look like one long car park, comprising the proposed
new car park on the reservoir, the 950-space car park on the roof
of the multiplex and the new bus terminus.
- Opening hours would be 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., 365 days a year.
- Noise levels and air pollution will rise dramatically in the
area once billed as the "Clean Air Suburb". Bromley still calls
itself the "Clean, Green Borough".
- Developments of this type, in other parts of the country, have
shown an increase in crime in those areas.
- The few hundred jobs, which are claimed to result from the
development, will be, by their nature, low paid, menial and
insecure. (The recent construction of the £600,000 bus
terminus - built on parkland - used no local labour.)
- In March 1999, Bromley Council spent £2.7 million on a
huge police operation to evict less than fifty environmental
protesters, equating to a cost of more than £50,000 each.
Many trees were felled and ground cover removed after the
eviction. This has already had a profound effect on the wildlife
in the area.
Top of page; Return
to Background Index
Last updated 03/03/00