On 18 September Croydon’s planning committee considered application to Bromley Council by the London Development Agency for Crystal Palace Park. It is usual for boroughs to consider adjoining major development proposals and Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham raised concerns over the sale of parkland for housing, recognising the precedent this would set for parks in their boroughs.
In just two minutes a Croydon Council officer recommended approval of the 11,000 page, £62.5 million LDA Park Masterplan, the largest ever received by Bromley. Only after protests from the public gallery did the officer reveal that the application included the sale of public parkland for blocks of 180 private luxury flats.
Quoting the CPCA, Cllr Buttinger asked for confirmation that it is “the intention to sell areas of protected public parkland to residential development”, to which the officer presenting the Masterplan proposal said: “Yes”.
CPCA Chairman John Payne, reminded the committee that the main Articles from the Convention of Human Rights are enforceable under national law in the United Kingdom and that it is possible to bring proceedings against a public authority for acting incompatibly with such right should someone have been affected or is at risk of being directly affected by something done by a public authority. This was demonstrated when a local resident made successful application to the European Court of Human Rights, concerning the earlier Crystal Palace Park multiplex application, approved by Bromley Council.
Mr Payne reminded the Council of the blanket opposition to housing in Crystal Palace Park.
Members unanimously objected to proposals for housing but welcomed possible improvements to the Park. Cllr Scott said: “the housing is the only really contentious part of the scheme”. Cllr Filbey said: “Housing is not the solution to fund the Park… Building on Metropolitan Open Land is not the answer. No No”.
Cllr Perry said that he agreed with council officers recommendation that there should be ‘no objection in principle’ but that there was probably a consensus on the Committee against the housing. He said that Croydon’s report to Bromley should reflect this and a paragraph should be added stating that, “it is not appropriate that parkland is being sold for housing”.
Open Space and Green Belt Assurances
Cllr Perry gave assurance that “Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land is safe in Croydon”.
Cllr Scott said: “the important issue now is to see open space maintained”.
Cllr Khan said: “the MOL is the people’s inheritance”.
The Committee accepted their officer’s recommendation that no objection to the application be raised in principle, with the proviso that a number of conditions be added including the inappropriateness of selling parkland for housing.
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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