Park needs regeneration, but these plans do not justify the loss of open space
CPCA responds to regeneration plans

Plans for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park, originally submitted in Spring 2020, are getting closer to being considered by the Planning Committee at Bromley Council. The CPCA has objected on the grounds of loss of Metropolitan Open Land and the Caravan site, inadequate evidence to support the viability of enabling development, and inappropriate density and scale of new development.

The CPCA opposed the previous regeneration proposals, launched in 2007. However, we are only too aware of the desperate need for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park, so we have considered the current proposals very carefully. Unfortunately, we feel that the deliverability of regeneration in the form envisaged in the planning application does not justify the sacrifice that is being expected in terms of damage to the character of the Park.

LOSS OF METROPOLITAN OPEN LAND Crystal Palace Park is designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). It is rare for Metropolitan Open Land to be developed in the way envisaged in this application. At the present time in particular, with Covid-19 having demonstrated the value of open space in providing much needed space for rest and recreation, it would be incredibly sad to lose it. Although an element of the original proposal, which envisaged development of Metropolitan Open Land for Capel Manor College, has been removed, there are still significant areas of MOL which it is proposed to develop in the current proposal. The rationale for developing MOL is that there are special circumstances, in that the housing development within the application would raise money for the regeneration of the Park. However, only around half of the amount said to be required for the regeneration plan is contributed by the housing. The regeneration plan is ambitious, as is appropriate given the scale and importance of the Park and the challenges posed by its current run-down condition, but the development is in no way sufficient to fund the regeneration. There is a risk that the housing development will take place, but the regeneration will not.

INADEQUATE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT VIABILITY OF ENABLING DEVELOPMENT Only around half of the regeneration plan cost is contributed by the housing. The remainder consists of anticipated income, comprising National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Other (not specified), Crowdfunding, Historic England and other grants. None of these amounts is guaranteed and there is very little evidence about how in practice they will be obtained. Their speculative nature is indicated by the round sums used in describing them. We believe that the assumptions being made by Bromley Council are unrealistic, and it is unfortunate that the Council cannot demonstrate its commitment to the project by contributing any of its own funds.

INAPPROPIATE DENSITY AND SCALE OF NEW DEVELOPMENT The scale of the proposed new buildings on Crystal Palace Park Road and at Rockhills is out of keeping with their surroundings and with the existing pattern of development in the area. The northern and eastern fringes of the Park provide an attractive green boundary, containing numerous mature trees, which blends well with the Victorian streetscape beyond. The new developments would be intrusive and would damage this classic parkland setting.

LOSS OF CARAVAN SITE The new Rockhills development would take place on the existing caravan site, which is an extremely well-run and popular amenity. It provides an opportunity for visitors from elsewhere in the UK and from further afield to stay near to London, and incidentally enjoy local shops and restaurants, which benefit from their trade. At a time when travel is becoming more difficult and international affairs are becoming more fractious, it would be a great pity to close this portal between Crystal Palace and the wider world.

In conclusion, the CPCA believes that the regeneration proposal is not sufficiently robust to justify granting planning permission for an unsightly new development on Metropolitan Open Land.

Changes on the way in Crystal Palace
September 2020

At the same time as businesses and residents are trying hard to get back to a normal way of life in the midst of the resurgent pandemic, there are some major initiatives afoot that have the potential to change our neighbourhood for years to come. The CPCA will be contributing to the debate, so we would welcome your views so that we can put forward a strong collective message.

CROYDON STREETSPACE SCHEMES Croydon Council has implemented road closures at the top of Fox Hill and Sylvan Hill, and at the bottom of Stambourne Way. A so-called bus gate has been installed in Auckland Road, near the bottom of Cypress Road. The Council has been consulting on the schemes with a view to deciding whether they are to become permanent.

FESTIVAL REPUBLIC EVENTS IN CRYSTAL PALACE PARK Festival Republic has submitted an application to Bromley Council to hold two major festivals in Crystal Palace Park each summer for the next three years. The 2021 dates would be 9-11 July and 16-18 July, with a capacity of around 45,000 (this assumes that live festivals will be possible by then).

PARK REGENERATION PLANS RESUBMITTED The application, originally submitted to Bromley Council in January, for a range of new developments at Crystal Palace Park, has now been re-submitted. The new submission omits the planned new building for Capel Manor College at Anerley Hill (although the College still proposes to redevelop the Farm site), and it reduces the number of new homes. 210 homes are proposed, occupying the same areas but at a lower density than previously. The Council Planning Committee is due to decide on the application in November.

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The Moor on Crystal Palace Terrace. Now we all know what it feels like to be isolated.

New book celebrates CPCA fiftieth birthday
December 2019

The CPCA is 50 years old! We were established at a public meeting at St Aubyns Church Hall in January 1970. Now, to commemorate the occasion, we have published THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR TRIANGLE, a beautifully illustrated hard cover book featuring full colour reproductions of the posters designed by Audrey Hammond and Ian Hempstead to advertise CPCA events in the early days. The posters convey vividly the moment at the beginning of the 1970s when the CPCA came into being and its energy and enthusiasm. Not only a fascinating souvenir, but the perfect gift for anyone with an interest in our vibrant and lively neighbourhood!

The Amazing Technicolour Triangle

Click on the link below to order a copy of THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR TRIANGLE for immediate dispatch.

McDonalds 'food factory' for Westow Street
August 2019

McDonalds have applied for permission to change use of the old Living Water Satisfies cafe in Westow Street from A3 (food and drink) to A5 (hot food and takeaway). Plans for the new business are detailed in their application, available on the Croydon Council website. The proposed operation will be a 7 day per week, 24 hour per day takeaway, not a restaurant. There will be no customer seating and no customer toilets. Unsurprisingly, the business has been described as a food factory.

Local residents are seriously concerned about the impact on traffic, pedestrian safety, noise levels, and other businesses in the area. Croydon Council is due to make a decision about McDonalds application by 25 September.

New buildings for college in Park
Summer 2019

Capel Manor College, which runs the Farm in Crystal Palace Park and has classrooms in the Jubilee Stand, is launching a consultation on its improvement plans. The college wants to build new teaching facilities next to Crystal Palace museum in Anerley Hill, and to revive and improve the farm buildings.

Read our latest newsletter for the details, and come along to our next Open Meeting on 19 September to hear about what's happening locally. Click here or on the cover to view.

CPCA Summer 2019 Newsletter
CPCA Summer 2019 Newsletter

Battle over super size Queens HOtel
Winter 2018/19

A public inquiry is under way into expansion plans for the Queens Hotel in Church Road. The CPCA has opposed the hotel's plans because of the scale of the development and the traffic impact.

Read our latest newsletter for the details, and come along to our next Open Meeting on 4 April (re-arranged from 28 March) to hear about what's happening locally. Click here or on the cover to view.

CPCA Winter 2018/19 Newsletter
CPCA Winter 2018/19 Newsletter

CPCA Open Meeting to discuss Park plans
Autumn 2018/

The CPCA is holding an Open Meeting at the Paxton Centre, Anerley Hill, at 7:30 pm on 11 October to discuss current developments, including Bromley Council's plans for Crystal Palace Park.

The CPCA's latest newsletter has all the details. Click here or on the cover to view (2 pages).

CPCA Autumn 2018 Newsletter
CPCA Autumn 2018 Newsletter

Crunch time for Crystal Palace Park
Summer 2018

Bromley Council is preparing plans that will change the face of Crystal Palace Park. There is much to welcome in the latest proposals, but the use of parts of the Park for new homes is controversial. And the Council's business model for the Park assumes that running costs will be offset by money coming in from events and other sources - but is this realistic?

The CPCA's latest newsletter invites residents to contribute to our response to the plans. Click here or on the cover to view (2 pages).

CPCA Summer 2018 Newsletter
CPCA Summer 2018 Newsletter

Older news

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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