(P.171) Croydon Advertiser, 28 July 2010 (page 14)

£67.5m park plan gets government approval

THE green light has been given to plans to build 180 homes in Crystal Palace Park.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has recommended that the London Development Agency's (LDA) £67.5 million master plan for the park go ahead.

As well as building homes, the plans also include freeing up 40 acres of extra parkland with 600 newly planted trees, creating a tree canopy mimicking the old Crystal Palace building and building a new sports centre.


Crystal Palace Park Master Plan vision
PICKLES SAYS YES: The Crystal Palace Park Master Plan

Although the LDA has said it is unlikely to provide any of the £67.5 million for the project to be realised, it also said it will work with local councils to try to find ways of funding and implementing the master plan.

The LDA's application was originally given the go-ahead in December 2008, but was called in for independent scrutiny by the then Secretary of State Hazel Blears the following month.

A two-month public inquiry followed at the Salvation Army Hall, in Westow Street, Upper Norwood, last July, with the result announced on Thursday last week.

Protesters have stated their fears that a precedent of building homes on parkland would be set if the plans were approved.

Ed. Notes:
This Outline Planning permission went through probably the most comprehensive consultation period of any previous, similar plans ending in a month-long enquiry. The inspector's report, after everyone had their say, came out in favour of the whole scheme (bar a few minor conditions). This vindicated the long battle that the LDA and others had to finally get it accepted, including a majority of people who actually saw the Master Plan exhibition. The scheme was first presented to Bromley Council in November of 2007, was passed by them with a substantial 11-4 majority in December 2008 and was subjected to a public enquiry in August-September 2009. At last, the difficult task of executing the project can begin with a new-found confidence that the internationally renowned Crystal Palace Park will be regenerated from its current run-down condition.

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11/08/10 Last Updated 11/08/10