News in 2007:

CPCA features in the Palace magazine
 December edition

the Palace magazineThe latest edition of the Palace includes a two page profile of CPCA president Audrey Hammond which covers the founding and progress of the CPTCA/CPCA, the success of the 'Crystal Palace - Norwood Heights' book and Audrey's career as an artist.

CPCA member Mike Warwick contributes a piece 'Up The Palace...or Up The Garden Path' in response to the November article 'Rebuild the Crystal Palace'. Mike provides an exposé of the real purpose of the Ray Hall scheme and the damaging consequences of this on Crystal Palace Park and the surrounding area.

In case you've missed this issue, click on the links above to read each of these articles online (courtesy of Community Relations Ltd, publishers of the Palace).

Library cuts article
 31 December 2007

With uncertainty still surrounding funding for the Upper Norwood Joint Library (see archive), this article published in The Independent on 31 December highlights the wider issue of funding cuts for libraries.

Read the article: Anger at library cuts

Summer 2007 newsletter now online

CPCA Summer 2007 Newsletter - click to download or read online

Our most recent newsletter was a bumper 48 page of articles and comment and is now available to read online or download in Adobe Acrobat format.

It includes a close look at the latest proposals from Latz + Partner (the Park Master Planners), Capel Manor College (children's farm in the Park) and Tfl (Croydon Tramlink extension).

Read our Summer 2007 newsletter online in Adobe Acrobat format Summer 2007 Newsletter(4MB)

Also online -

Read our September 2005 mini newsletter online in MS Word format Autumn 2006 newsletter
Read our September 2005 mini newsletter online in MS Word format September 2005 mini newsletter

Our Great North Runner

Suzanne at 2007's Great North Run

Even family and close friends had doubts when "all action" CPCA Secretary Suzanne Elkin announced she was taking part in the Great North Run.

They should all have known better, as not only did Suzanne complete the course in a very creditable 3 hours 02 mins 39 secs but raised almost two thousand pounds in sponsorship for the Samaritans and the CPCA.

Well done Suzanne.


Second Cawnpore Street planning application
 26 October 2007

On 16 October 2007, the Planning Applications Committee of Lambeth Borough Council approved the second application submitted by Greenacre Homes and Alan Camp Architects for a huge 54-unit housing development between Cawnpore Street and Woodland Road, SE19.

The revised plan, east elevation
   The revised proposal (east elevation)

The Committee of five was divided on this application, but the motion was finally carried by the Chairman, Cllr Torren Smith, using his casting vote. Cllr Diana Morris, the Deputy Chair, who opposed the original application, was not convinced of the merits of this further application, abstained.

This was one of the most blatant examples the CPCA has seen of a political agenda bulldozed through by those unwilling to recognise the policies which they claim to support and with which they are expected to comply.

The policies relevant to this application were identified in a CPCA document specially prepared for the meeting and circulated to all the members of the committee and key officers.

Councillors Brian Palmer and John Whelan said that the new scheme differed very little from the first, which, in February, had been rejected by the committee on grounds of mass, scale, bulk and design, and in their view the new design was worse than the first. Councillor Dave Malley, who later approved the development on the grounds of not wishing to incur costs for the Council by risking another appeal by the developer, admitted that the difference between the first and the second schemes was marginal at best.

The revised plan, Woodland Road elevation
   North elevation - this illustration shows only one half of the proposed development
  (see the illustration above for the other)

The arguments put forward by the CPCA and local ward councillor and Lambeth Mayor, Andrew Gibson, did not persuade the Chairman, who chose to rely on the Chief Planning Officer’s report which recommended the scheme. It would seem that in order to satisfy political imperatives, the report which was based on contentious information provided by the architects, failed to comply with policies applying to development in conservation and adjacent areas.

Law and planning policies make it clear that conservation areas are to be ‘preserved and enhanced’ by new development schemes. This new scheme fails in this respect and it is wrong to justify a proposal in a conservation area by reference to 1960s high-rise tower blocks, which councillors admit are not in keeping with the two and three-storey Victorian villas and terraces of the conservation area, and Cllr Palmer described the new design as “something looking like the Gipsy Hill branch of the local Stasi”.

Adobe Acrobat document  Read the CPCA comments on the 2nd application (PDF, 2MB).

More information and background detail is further down this page.

Masterplan exhibition at Crystal Palace Station
 18 - 31 October 2007

The LDA's Masterplan Exhibition guideFollowing the LDA's exhibition to mark the submission of its masterplan application for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park to the Park's planning authority, Bromley Council, what do you think about the masterplan or the entire Park regeneration process?

Let us know your views!

For related articles, see
Croydon Guardian
Bromley Times

Our new Gallery page
 Images of the Crystal Palace area

'Glitter & Twisted, Words & Pictures' by Bjarne Bladbjerg 2007

Our new virtual gallery is now open with a selection of Bjarne Bladbjerg's vibrant paintings of shops and buildings around the Triangle which featured in this summer's Signals 5 festival.

This will develop over time into a larger collection of images of the Crystal Palace area, both current and historical.

Submissions for the gallery are welcome by email for works in any medium.

Glitter & Twisted, Words & Pictures
Bjarne Bladbjerg 2007

A new proposal by the Crystal Palace Foundation
 6 September 2007

The CPF have applied to use six rooms at Crystal Palace station
Crystal Palace railway station
  Photo by
Suzanne Elkin

Following the departure of the Crystal Palace Foundation (CPF) from the Crystal Palace Museum in June 2006 after 18 years of dedicated staffing, the CPF Trustees sought alternative permanent accommodation. Among suggestions was the reconsideration of the 1979 Jeff Yentz project to occupy the wonderful expanse above Crystal Palace Railway Station. The CPF Trustees have applied to Southern Railway for permission to use six rooms on the south side of the ground floor. These would house new CPF headquarters, retail outlet and an exhibition centre located beneath the offices of The Railway Consultancy.

Following a full professional survey, the cost of refurbishment would be approximately £30,000 plus £5,000-£10,000 for fitting-out, for which the CPF is seeking a grant.

Over the years, the CPF has accumulated dozens of prints, engravings, photographs and objects relating to the history of the railways and Crystal Palace. These would be displayed in the various rooms in the new exhibition area.

To see how the CPF envisage using the rooms, plus a list of supporters of this project, Click Here

Please help the CPF fundraising by supporting their GRAND PRIZE DRAW with prizes of £500, £250, £150 and £100, to be drawn on 30th November 2007. For tickets and information, contact the CPF by email or call 07889 3388112.

Park’s public walkabout cancelled at last minute
 21 September 2007

The increasing number beginning to doubt the competence of those responsible for the regeneration and restoration of Crystal Palace Park are unlikely to have been reassured by the late cancellation, without explanation, of the “walk” widely notified and advertised by the ‘Crystal Palace Park Consultation Team’ for 1pm Saturday 22nd September.

Park to lose 500 trees but gains trams and buses
Champagne quaffed at the final Park Working Group lecture may have numbed the shock of LDA confirmation that the intrusive and unsightly bus-garage is to double in size, trams are to be routed directly through Crystal Palace Park and 500 trees are to be felled, all of which of course complies with the gospel of London Mayor Ken Livingstone that green open spaces and parks are vital to London…

Now read the local Guardian article: Fury as park walk cancelled

Truth Makeover
 12 September 2007

In a piece entitled "True details of Park makeover", which appeared in the Croydon Guardian on 30 August 2007, London Assembly member Valerie Shawcross accused a local election candidate of "inaccuracy" -- yet her own greenwash of the LDA's intention to turn a public park into a profit centre is itself inaccurate.

Read more to see her piece in full, along with a critique from CPCA member Mike Warwick.

Sale of protected parkland for 5-storey blocks of  flats threatens all UK Parks
CPCA media update
 22 May 2007

Crystal Palace Park and the LDA
For four years the London Mayor’s regeneration body, the London Development Agency (LDA), has engaged ‘Park Stakeholders’ in protracted and expensive consultation on the future of the historic Crystal Palace Park. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and currently owned and managed by the London Borough of Bromley, Crystal Palace Park is one of the UK’s most famous parks. As well as being Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) it appears on the English Heritage Register as Grade II*(star).

Multi-million pound makeover
On 19 May, at a Crystal Palace Dialogue meeting, LDA master planners, Latz, finally revealed the cost of their ambitious redevelopment of Crystal Palace Park as £67.2 million – many times more than has been spent on any other UK park. This figure does not include any new sports complex, which comes under a separate budget. Integral to LDA proposals is sale of parkland for private residential development on two sites within the Park, to enable construction of 177 luxury units and associated car parking.

Public consultation results ignored
Whilst there is broad support for other LDA Park proposals, their own public consultation exercises have confirmed that the majority of stakeholders oppose the sale of parkland for housing, whilst 7,000 signed a petition to the London Mayor, against the sale of parkland for housing and commercial development. Despite this, the LDA continue to justify the construction of housing in the Park as contributing £12 million towards basic Park costs.

Time scale
The LDA and Latz, have avoided specific confirmation of the time-scale for their proposals, saying only 15-20-30, even 50 years with Tilman Latz previously admitting that he would be a grandfather by the time the Park was finished. The sale of parkland for housing is expected to happen sooner.

Dangerous precedent
Those concerned for the protection of parkland fear that, once established, the selling of parkland to fund park ‘improvements’ would set a precedent threatening not just Crystal Palace Park, but every park and protected green open space in the UK.

Please help save Upper Norwood Library
Policy of refurbish, then close?  
 10 May 2007

The next meeting of the Upper Norwood Library Joint Committee - the “management” comprising local councillors from both Croydon and Lambeth - will take place next Tuesday 15th May at 6.30pm in the Library on Westow Hill, SE19. The attendance at the last meeting in February demonstrated the overwhelming strength of community feeling against any cuts in our Upper Norwood Library services and we urge you to attend once again.

Concerned library users gathered outside the Upper Norwood Library to demonstrate their anger at Croydon's repeated refusal to provide adequate funding Over a hundred concerned library users, including children, gathered outside the Upper Norwood Library in Westow Hill Under threat - the Upper Norwood Library with concerned users, 19 December 2006

Croydon still refuse proper funding of the Library and continue to renege on a previous undertaking of £30,000 per annum.

The CPCA has pledged its support and expertise in helping to ensure that the Library receives proper long-term funding for its survival and that redundancies, reduced facilities and then the inevitable closure do not happen. We, along with the Upper Norwood Library Campaign, continue to fight for fair and proper funding, by attending meetings, lobbying and keeping our library’s plight in the public eye.

Read more about the background to this funding shortage, and how the Upper Norwood Library Campaign (UNLC) is fighting for long term funding parity for Upper Norwood Library.

Tessa Jowell MP visits UNJL
24 February 2007

The Rt Hon. Tessa Jowell
, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood visited the Upper Norwood Library today to demonstrate her support for its continued place at the heart of our community.

Tessa Jowell MP outside UNJL, 24 February 2007 Tessa Jowell MP signs the petition opposing funding cuts to Upper Norwood Library
The MP added her name to thousands of others in signing the petition that opposes funding cuts to Upper Norwood Library and which will be presented to Croydon Council. This objects to Croydon's failure to meet their funding obligations which could lead to the closure of this unique library just a year after its £1.1 million refurbishment.

TfL - Trouble for London
19 April 2007

The imposition of a Transport for London approved one-way system at Crystal Palace has resulted in the Triangle becoming a carousel for through traffic with insufficient parking for visitors and inadequate and dangerous pedestrian crossings.

One large stationary vehicle, whether legally unloading or not, can reduce the traffic flow to a single lane and grid-locks are a regular consequence of the system that simply does not work and has resulted in the closure of established businesses, with more to come.

Jasper Road gridlocked with police cars after the bank robbery in the Triangle
Jasper Road gridlocked with police cars
  after the bank robbery in the Triangle

The vulnerability of the area to traffic chaos was well demonstrated on Wednesday 18 April, when necessary police measures following an armed robbery at Barclay's Bank brought the area to a standstill, with drivers unable to do anything but sit trapped in a one-way system, with break-downs and the need to use lavatories adding to the traffic chaos.

Had there been other emergencies requiring ambulance or fire-appliances, they could not have responded in reasonable time, and quite possibly not at all, and it is to be wondered if it will take a fatality or other horrific event for the planners to accept that they got this one badly wrong, whatever their computer simulations and models might have forecast?

In response to complaints, politicians who promised a review of the system should they come to office, now say the system works well and that they have no plans to review it, and claim that the new one-way system resulted in Sainsbury’s opening in Westow Street.

It should be remembered that whilst the opening of Sainsbury’s was most welcome and that it provides a valuable facility for shoppers in Crystal Palace, most who visit it contribute nothing to the wider local economy, arriving to park in Sainsbury’s car park, shopping, and then leaving the area without ever having put a foot outside.

Guess who's advertising on the unlawful sign  again? 12 March 2007

The unlawfully erected site next to Jack Beard's at the top of Anerley Hill

Yet again the London Mayor is happy to advertise on a huge, unlawfully erected advertising sign within the Conservation Area. This sign is currently subject to an enforcement order by Bromley Council, a process which is paid for by Bromley council tax payers, and which may take a number of YEARS to resolve.

Far from improving the area as he claims, Ken Livingstone doesn't seem to mind compounding a bad situation for his benefit.

Crystal Palace Caravan Park
South London Press article and CPCA response

 5 March 2007

Crystal Palace Caravan Club

A letter from CPCA chairman John Payne was published in the South London Press on Friday 2nd March, in response to an article in the South London Press of Tuesday 20 February concerning the possible removal of the Caravan Club from Crystal Palace Park.

The letter highlights the desire of the London Mayor and the LDA to use the land for housing.

To read the full letter and the original article, click here

"Lego Block" Housing Development refused

22 February 2007

Lambeth refuse planning permission

On 20 February 2007, at Lambeth's Planning Applications Committee meeting, over thirty local residents witnessed Alan Camp, architect of a "Lego Blocks" development proposal attempting to horse-trade with the Council in a last ditch attempt to influence them into approving a highly unpopular, highly-intensive housing development.

An artist's impression of the proposed Cawnpore Street development
An artist's impression of the proposed "alien" Cawnpore Street development

The controversial development between Cawnpore Street and Woodland Road, SE19, described by one councillor as "Lego blocks .not appropriate for this area" was submitted by Greenacre Homes on behalf of Wandle Housing Association. It comprised a contemporary styled 6-storey accommodation block with 60 self-contained flats and included some office space.

There were gasps of surprise followed by prolonged clapping when the application was refused on the grounds of loss of amenity: the sense of enclosure of the old Dairy Building on Gipsy Hill, and of poor design: the height, scale and bulk of the development and its adverse effect on the Conservation Area.

Views of a brick wall
A developer shows councillors the plans
The beautiful Gipsy Hill terrace forms the
  background to a site visit for the now
  refused Cawnpore Street development

When built the blue, yellow and copper-clad development would have towered just 6 metres from residential accommodation in the old Dairy Building in the Conservation Area on Gipsy Hill, blocking both light and views with a cliff-like brick wall.

'Consultation' at Christmas

It was admitted that Greenacre had been in negotiations with Lambeth officers for eighteen months before embarking on inadequate consultation with residents which began in the Christmas holidays, leaving just one month to register objections. Plans were unavailable for scrutiny at the Upper Norwood Library, but a poorly-advertised presentation was held after the deadline for objections.

Team work
residents and local councillors consider the impact of the 'alien' development on the Conservation Area
Concerned residents and local councillors
  gather to consider the developmental
  impact of the proposed "Lego Blocks"

Success in opposing the over intensification of development at Cawnpore Street was due to the hard work of Ward Councillor Andrew Gibson, local residents and the CPCA and in no small part to the vigilance of a CPCA member and local resident who discovered in his research that Lambeth officers, just a month earlier, had advised the rejection of this planning application.

Cllr John Whelan received no answer when he asked officers why they had made this U-turn. In a surprise revelation the architect revealed that if they didn't receive planning approval they would lose a £6.5 million Government grant.

Don Bianco, CPCA Planning Committee Chairman, said "The CPCA and local residents recognise the need for housing and are not opposed to development on this site. However, this was a missed opportunity to consult properly and provide a scheme that was sympathetic to the area, pleasant to live in and finding favour with its neighbours. Have we learned nothing from the mistakes of the 60s?"

Crystal Palace Park 'Main Group', 'Sports and
Park Working Group' meetings
CPCA media update

 14 February 2007

Although the CPCA withdrew from the Crystal Palace Dialogue for reasons which have previously been made quite clear, members of the CPCA continue to monitor the process.

The view of the CPCA remains that:

The Crystal Palace Dialogue is misleading as the LDA used it for eighteen months to deny intention to build houses in the Park whilst seeking support for other Park proposals, and failed to consult on the abandonment of the proposed new National Sports Centre.

The Crystal Palace Dialogue is seriously flawed as the press and public are not admitted to meetings which are infrequent and not properly advertised or notified.

The Crystal Palace Dialogue is procedurally unfair as published agendas are not followed, discussion on vital issues prevented, inhibiting free speech and stifling dissent.

Read the CPCA's comments on the latest Park proposals in full.

CPCA comments: Tramlink extension proposals
Protecting our Park?

 18 January 2007

The CPCA has submitted detailed comments to Transport for London (TfL) on their proposals to extend Croydon Tramlink through the Park to a major new transport hub on the hilltop behind the bus terminus. This hub will include several platforms and sidings for additional trams.

TFL proposals include extending Croydon Tramlink through the Park
TFL's proposals do not include the option of
   terminating trams at Crystal Palace station

The CPCA is concerned that the public consultation on these proposals and the MORI conducted opinion poll were inadequate and misleading, and excluded the option to terminate at Crystal Palace Station: an option that would avoid the need to build track and infrastructure on 4,000 square metres of supposedly highly protected parkland.

To read the full CPCA comments, click here
For a map showing the 3 options proposed by TfL, click here.

Barker's Law
A new law, thanks to Dianne!

 8 January 2007

Dianne Barker's video piece on the BBC websiteFollowing Dianne Barker's victory in the House of Lords (archive), see this video piece from BBC Audio & Video and read a new online article from this weekend's Observer about the new environmental impact assessment law that will carry her name.

Click for Dianne's video piece on the BBC website

For 2006 news, please see our 2006 news archive page