Further developments at Crystal Palace Park
October 2014


In October 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced proposals for development by the Chinese group Zhong Rong International Group Ltd of a new 900,000 sq ft plus ‘Crystal Palace’ on the hill-top of the park, which would also require acquisition of further large areas of precious parkland.

At totally inadequate 'public consultation’, ARUP, representing the Chinese interests, were unable to provide even fundamental information, and at disastrous meetings in the Paxton Suite, where hundreds were excluded from admission, ARUP conceded, under heavy questioning, that the large 'glossy pictures' of the proposed development were no more that artist's impressions, which might not resemble the final building.

Crystal Palace Park developments 2014 These signs appeared at every Park entrance – and many more smaller versions were dotted around the neighbourhood

In desperation, ARUP said that in mid July 2014, announcements would be made on the finalisation of selection of the architects for the development, together with further information on the nature of the Chinese development, together with the time-scale.

That undertaking was not met, and since that date, absolutely nothing further has been heard whatsoever, and it was hoped by many that this threat to the park had passed, only to find that it had been added to by announcement by Boris Johnson of new proposals to demolish the NSC running-track and the stands, including the famous Jubilee Stand, the 100-metre indoor track, and relocation of the existing tennis-courts to an area of parkland between the NSC Building and the area of the former cricket field.

Crystal Palace Park developments 2014 public consultation Very limited in number and not exactly obvious

Although proposed improvements to the NSC Building may be of some benefit, the cost will be the loss of many mature trees and of any future athletic events, which it appears will now be transferred to the new Olympic Stadium at Stratford.

These radical proposals include construction of an access road from Sydenham Gate serving the new educational establishments, seemingly now favoured by the GLA in providing land for a second Capel Manor building, a Paxton Free School, and possible establishment of an ‘Academy', all in supposedly protected Metropolitan Open Land.

Crystal Palace Park developments 2014 public consultation The 'public consultation' event held in the NSC

Most controversially, CSM Strategic, the company introducing these proposals is headed by former London Olympic Organising Committee Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, better known as Seb Coe, one of the greatest athletes ever produced by this country, an association that greatly concerns the many athletes, other sportsmen and sportswomen who use this important training facility, who fear this loss will be critical.

Public consultation on these important changes has been afforded low priority limited to emails to those able to receive them, conflicting reports in the press, small laminated notices in the park (see photos) or reference to the obscure website containing a survey at;
http://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix/p1838870106.aspx.

Plans for these proposals are on view in the NSC until the end of October 2014, which due to strong public concern has now been extended to the end of November 2014.

COMMUNITY-LOVING VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR CRYSTAL PALACE FESTIVAL
May 2014


Crystal Palace Overground Festival 2014

Organisers of the 8th Crystal Palace Overground Festival (26th-29th June) are calling for local people to get involved in what has become the biggest party of the year in Crystal Palace.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in the community arts festival that will run from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th June 2014, spread across Crystal Palace, including Crystal Palace Park, Westow Park and the Upper Norwood Triangle.

The events kick off on Thursday 26th June to Friday 27th June with community fringe events around the Upper Norwood Triangle area, with the big music, multi-media and vintage events held in outdoor spaces around Crystal Palace on Saturday 28th June and Sunday 29th June. Local trader, pub and venue-led events will add to the fun. 

Anyone can volunteer - from students to pensioners.

Caroline Guinard, volunteer’s manager, said: “We need fun-loving and flexible people who are able to volunteer just four hours of their time to help make our festival happen.

“Volunteer roles include distributing programmes, helping set up the park events, putting up posters, ensuring crowd safety and providing a sign-posting service to festival goers.

“In return we can guarantee a fun time, an opportunity to meet new friends, regular social meetings and a chance to get involved in your local community.”

The organisers actively encourage people from all backgrounds to join up – the only prerequisites are to be 18 or over, enthusiastic, friendly, reliable and committed to making the Crystal Palace Overground Festival the best yet!

Full training will be provided.

Would you like to be involved? Prospective volunteers should visit www.crystalpalacefestival.org/volunteer and complete the online application form.

Crystal Palace Overland Festival volunteers

HUNDREDS EXCLUDED FROM COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON CHINESE PROPOSAL TO REBUILD THE CRYSTAL PALACE
March 2014


Two Community Consultation meetings arranged by ARUP were held on Saturday 1st March 2014 at 11.30 and 13.30 at the Paxton Suite in The Lodge, Crystal Palace Park.

These meetings, though inadequately publicised by the organisers, were well notified by the CPCA and other local organisations, which perhaps contributed to the inauspicious start to the first meeting, when more than 200 people attending at 11.30 were unable to gain admittance, finding the room already packed to capacity, with every seat taken and many more standing and even sitting on the floor.

Community consultation Both meetings were packed to capacity, with 200 people excluded at each

Predictably, people unable to attend were furious at this fiasco, which was not helped by the sublime arrogance of some stewarding the meeting in telling those that complained at being excluded from the meeting “…don’t worry there is another meeting at 1.30.” at which one angry person said This is a joke there are more of us outside than inside.”

>> Read on

Mike Warwick, CPCA

FURTHER ASSAULT ON PLANNING LAWS
‘Planning Armageddon’
March 2014


The Coalition is preparing a new assault on planning laws that will give developers legal powers to force through planning applications without council approval or environmental assessments.

Under new proposals, described by one planning expert as a nuclear option, developers and builders will be able to by-pass local authorities that delay decisions on conditions attached to planning approval.

Even worse, the Coalition also proposes to remove requirement to assess the impact of some large residential developments or housing estates, super-markets and shopping centres on the countryside.

Campaigners, including concerned Tory back-bencher MPs representing rural areas have warned that these radical reforms could result in communities being “held to ransom” and could force councils to wave through unpopular and contentious planning applications.

>> Read on

Upper Norwood Library Trust Needs You
October 2013


Trustees are wanted for an exciting new social enterprise in Upper Norwood due to take over the running of the Upper Norwood Library.

The Upper Norwood Library Trust (UNLT) is a newly formed organisation formed by local residents with the objective of taking over the governance and management of the Upper Norwood Joint Library (UNJL) as a library and community hub.

We keen to ensure we properly reflect the local community, so we are looking for people with a range of skills and experience, particularly people who have experience/skills in one of the following, libraries, community engagement, education, accountancy, HR, legal, fundraising, business, business development, and or marketing. But just as importantly, we are looking for people who are passionate about our library, and feel they can understand the needs of the library members.

While this is a serious endeavor, the trust aims to be a friendly group who are willing to put in time and effort to make our library a widely recognised model for the future.

We would love to hear from you if you are interested and will supply you with more information to explain, in more detail, what is involved.  Email Bryher@me.com

CPCA CPCA CHALLENGE REFUSED
Crystal Palace Community Association challenge to decision by Secretary of State to approve the LDA Crystal Palace Masterplan rejected  
April 30 2013


Appeal Lords say no

Three Lords of Appeal found against the CPCA at hearing on Tuesday 23rd April 2013 rejecting submission by Robert McCracken QC that the LDA Masterplan application should not have been outline application and that proposal under it for sale of land to raise money disregarded the importance of Habitats Directive Regulations concerning bats.

CPCA Chair John Payne said "Whilst naturally disappointed we are greatly encouraged by the messages of support from all quarters and it is as though we had won the challenge to the Masterplan not lost it. It is gratifying that all the efforts and costs in bringing this matter into the courts have been justified by the resulting interest and attention."

Norwood Society Chair Richard Lines said "It’s disappointing that the application failed, but as an objector to the Masterplan the Society will continue to take close interest over the future of Crystal Palace Park."

Donald Mitchell, London Chair, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England said "Whilst we recognise the need to improve Crystal Palace Park, we are very concerned where the legal protection on a Grade II* Listed, Municipal Open Space and Conservation Area comes under threat. These sites are protected for the benefit of local communities, and more widely, noting the considerable environmental and heritage services they provide, other parks, such as Dulwich and Battersea, have been regenerated without the down-scaling of the green space. We ask Bromley Council to ensure that approval of the Masterplan does not result in further incursion onto this important asset for London."

Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society said "We are deeply disappointed that this important appeal has been rejected. Crystal Palace Park is of national importance and it would be tragic if it was to be exploited for commercial gain."

Darren Johnson, London Assembly Green Member said "I fear the Courts decision will set a precedent that will encourage inappropriate development on all public parks and green open spaces."

John Payne further said "It is encouraging that the recent GLA/Bromley 10-point plan for Crystal Palace Park includes some features the CPCA suggested six years ago, and does not include building of luxury flats."

CPCA legal team Robert McCracken QC, Annabel Graham-Paul and solicitor Adrienne Copithorne together with applicants John Payne, Tony Elliott and other supporters at the Law Courts

CPCA legal team Robert McCracken QC, Annabel Graham-Paul and solicitor Adrienne Copithorne together with applicants John Payne, Tony Elliott and other supporters at the Law Courts


Addendum: Following the decision of the Appeal Lords, CPC Chair Ray Sacks sent out an email bulletin with his comments which Mike Warwick has responded to on behalf of the CPCA.
>> Read both here

CPCA Newsletter Spring 2013


See our latest edition with pieces on the CPCA's High Court Masterplan challenge, Crystal Palace Park and the Upper Norwood Joint Library, plus a roundup of forthcoming CPCA social events.

Click on the cover to read this edition online. It can also be downloaded as a pdf.

The Upper Norwood Library Trust 21 February 2013


Upper Norwood Joint Library

The battle for the future of our Upper Norwood Library continues albeit in a very different form. The following information explains the current position on the formation of a ‘Trust’ and the role it will play in the future management and governance of the Library.

The CPCA would like to thank all those who are working so hard on ensuring the future of our Library for this update.

The Upper Norwood Library Trust Update

Who we are?
We are a group of local residents committed to saving the library. We have all been involved in the library campaign over the last few years, some longer than others. In the summer of 2012 we had the idea of proposing to both the councils that, if they could not agree on a funding model or joint management, that the community could take over the running of the library.

What we want to do.
After many meetings with a wide group of library campaigners and community members, including CPCA and Gipsy Hill Residents’ Association members, it was agreed that the best way to take over the running of a professionally staffed library was to set up an incorporated charity with a business arm. We took expert legal advice on this, and we also consulted the staff. We agreed to name the charity The Upper Norwood Library Trust, as it says what it is and keeps the historic name.

Where have we have got to?
The campaign group and residents organisations then determined that a small group of interim trustees would be appointed to set up the Trust, and start intensive negotiations with the councils. So far we have employed a lawyer, highly skilled in these kinds of transfers from local government to trust status to set up the charity and the business for us.  With our lawyer we have made an application to the Charity Commission, which should be approved soon.

We have also negotiated £5,000 ‘capacity building’ funding from both Lambeth and Croydon councils, and £10,000 of development funding from the Social Investment Business. We are using this funding to commission Locality, an expert community organization that has supported many libraries to set up as community run trusts. Locality is working closely with us on the transfer to help us find Trustees and work on business development opportunities that will help fund the continuance of the library. Unfortunately we cannot use this funding on existing staff and running costs.

What’s going to happen next?
Our vision is to work, in the short term, within the severely cut budget to continue to provide a professionally run library service and that will always be at the heart of everything the Trust aims to do. In the medium to long term, when funds and resources allow, we intend to develop a community hub - the Crystal Palace Community Learning centre  - a place both IN the community and OF the community that offers sustainable high quality learning, information and community services for all residents in the local area. A brilliant library of the future with books at the heart of the operation. This aspiration follows our own consultation with the community and parallels the response to Croydon Council and Lambeth Councils’ consultations.

Now in February - Croydon and Lambeth Councils are in negotiation to bring the Upper Norwood Joint Library into its new severely restricted budget.  We have been asked to present a business plan and a service model – which we have done. It is a particularly sensitive time for the beleaguered staff as they face either voluntary or perhaps compulsory redundancy and it is a matter of huge regret that the interim Trustees are unable to prevent this.  We are trying as hard as possible to influence the process to minimise damage and achieve the best possible future, but we do not yet have a definite date for handover.  We want it to be as soon as possible – aiming for April 2013.  These are difficult times, and cuts to public services are affecting all local communities. We are committed to ensuring that our library continues. Please do get involved if you would like to help. We are in the process of setting up a community forum and also building a website, but in the meantime please join our Facebook group (Save Upper Norwood Library (Crystal Palace) from Closure) to get in touch and to get regular updates, or send us your email via bryher@me.com.

Bryher Scudamore, Robbie Gibson, Pam Gray, Emma Sharville, Alex Klaushofer, Max Dixon. February 21, 2013.

Upper Norwood Library - no longer a ‘joint library’ 30 January 2013



Library campaigners celebrate the welcome news

Lambeth and Croydon have confirmed that the Upper Norwood Library’s joint agreement has ended.

Under a new agreement, Croydon will transfer the 112-year old Library building, staff and agreed budgets to Lambeth.

The fine print of the agreement is being negotiated but the transfer of assets from Croydon to Lambeth is scheduled to take place over the next few months. Croydon Council has agreed to provide an annual contribution of £75,000, for the next two years. This is renewable under a three-year funding agreement. In contrast, Lambeth’s contribution to the Library will be £170,000 a year.

Lambeth in turn will work with the community-led steering group Upper Norwood Joint Campaign whose aim is to create a new trust which will run the library as “a publicly-funded, professionally staffed service”.

Although the continued operation of our Library is ‘good news’ the bad news is that it will have to function on little more than half the budget that it previously enjoyed, while long-term funding remains uncertain.

No place for CPCA in future of Crystal Palace Park January 2013


The CPCA is excluded from the Community Stakeholder Board, one of six boards established by Bromley to consider future management and development of Bromley’s only Grade II* Registered Metropolitan Open Land park, Crystal Palace Park. The recommendations of these boards will be considered by Bromley's Executive Committee.

This exclusion of the CPCA ensures this 42-year old charity registered amenity society will play no further role in the future of this park after years of interest and association.

Bromley's draft Crystal Palace Park Management Board Terms of reference identifies "Sustainable development to promote revenues streams",  "Implementing the vision and spirit of the Crystal Palace Park Masterplan."(Which includes sale of public parkland for construction of 180 private luxury apartments) "...opportunities for investment ..."and that "...difficult decisions may have to be made for the on-going sustainable future of the park to be guaranteed."

Although It is claimed by Bromley that three of the eleven appointees to The Community Board satisfy their own condition to be from "...existing community groups" only the Friends of Crystal Palace is a bona fide community group, with open membership and elected committee, a published constitution and accounts.

Bromley are in blatant breach of their own condition that appointees to the Community Board "...must have sufficient authority to speak for their organisations/sectors/partnerships and to provide worthwhile contribution to the work of theCrystal Palace Park Management Board" and "...that feedback is given to their nominating organisations and it is sufficiently reflected upon withaction taken as appropriate and relevant feedback provided in timelyfashion and to the appropriate structure members."

The Community Stakeholder Board has met on a number of occasions and requests to Community Development Manager, Louisa Allen, for access to minutes of these meetings under community information and later under FOI, were formally refused by Ms Allen.

Following CPCA 17 July 2012 detailed written response to such refusal, and to which no reply has been received to date, Louisa Allen left Bromley Council on 26 July 2012.

If you object to Bromley's exclusion of the CPCA from vital consideration and discussion on the future of our historic park, then write in no uncertain terms to Marc Hume, Director Renewal and Recreation, The Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH, and copy your letter to Bromley Council Leader Stephen Carr at the same address. The CPCA would of course like to receive a copy of your protests.

Click here to view the full correspondence, which should be read in reverse order.


Latest stories


CPCA legal challenge over Park housing  Posted - February 2012


The Crystal Palace Community Association is challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to approve sale of protected public parkland for construction of luxury apartments, under London Development Agency Masterplan proposal for Crystal Palace Park.

>> Full story here

CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation  Posted - December 2011


The London Borough of Bromley has begun the process of producing their 'Core Strategy' document for the Borough. This document will help determine the long-term planning strategy for the Borough and its conclusions will be incorporated into their Local Development Framework (LDF) - a replacement for the current Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

>> Full story here

Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding  Posted - November 2011


The unilateral decision by Croydon Council to 'terminate' the Upper Norwood Library Joint Agreement was, according to Croydon, the direct consequence of '...fundamental breach of the agreement by Lambeth Council'. Such breach, according to Croydon, was the refusal by Lambeth Council 'to attend the last Annual General Meeting and failing to co-operate at the 2010 meeting.'

>> Full story here

Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement  Posted - September 2011


Croydon Council's continuing failure to meet the terms of their partnership agreement with Lambeth Council, caused yet another meeting of The Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee to be abandoned last Thursday, the 15 September, when more than seventy people attended the Library Annual General Meeting, where the future of the 111-year old Library was to be considered.

>> Full story here

CPCA to challenge Secretary of State's approval for 180 luxury flats in Crystal Palace Park  Posted - January 2011


Following the Secretary of State's Formal Decision to grant planning permission to the LDA Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park, the CPCA have been advised that there are powerful legal grounds to challenge this in the High Court. It is currently preparing evidence and other material to tight deadlines and urgently considering the matter of costs.

>> Full story here

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 Recent newsletters


  • Spring 2013 Newsletter
    See the latest on the CPCA's High Court challenge, a multi-million pound 10-point plan for Crystal Palace Park and the effect of recent Upper Norwood Joint Library cuts, plus a roundup of forthcoming CPCA social events.
  • Spring 2012 Newsletter
    Our latest edition has pieces on the CPCA's High Court Masterplan challenge, Crystal Palace Park and the Upper Norwood Joint Library, plus a roundup of forthcoming CPCA social events.
  • Summer 2011 Newsletter
    See our latest 24 page edition with detailed articles on local issues including the CPCA's High Court application to challenge the decision to approve the LDA Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park.
  • Summer 2010 Bulletin
    This latest edition is full of interesting snippets as well as looks at Triangle matters, the CPCA's early years 1969-1973 and whether public money should fund private speculation here in SE19.
  • Spring 2010 Bulletin
    The first edition of our new regular bulletin has an overview of the public inquiry into the LDA Masterplan application, a look at the Upper Norwood Library Campaign as well as a 60 second interview with CPCA President Audrey Hammond.
  • Spring 2009 Newsletter
    With detailed articles on local issues including the LDA Masterplan application process, conservation area planning and the potential impact of building houses on Crystal Palace Park.
  • Spring 2008 Newsletter
    An important edition that covers the LDA Master plan application for Crystal Palace Park in great detail.
  • Read online, download or request a hard copy.

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