Park Regeneration planning application submitted  March 2020


Bromley Council has finally submitted its outline planning application for the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park (search for application reference 20/00325/OUT on Bromley Council Planning Portal - https://searchapplications.bromley.gov.uk/online-applications/). The regeneration includes a bewildering number of initiatives, including the conservation and repair of heritage assets, new housing at Rockhills (the caravan site at the top of the Park) and Sydenham Villas, a cultural venue, a community centre and a new building for Capel Manor College.

The regeneration plan is the descendant of the GLA master plan, against which the CPCA fought a protracted, and ultimately unsuccessful, battle all the way to the High Court. Like the GLA plan, this one relies on new housing to generate capital receipts. The main objection from the CPCA to the original master plan was that open space would be lost to housing. Unfortunately, the High Court did not support this objection, ruling that the circumstances justified departing from the usual presumption against developments on metropolitan open space.

The new regeneration plan has come forward now for two main reasons. Bromley Council wishes to hand over the running of Crystal Palace Park to a Trust, but without a dowry from new investment, the Trust will struggle to generate enough income to cover running costs. Quite separately, Capel Manor College wants better teaching space than their current quarters in the Jubilee Stand, and, more importantly, has funding from the Mayor of London to pay for it.

Although the scope of the Regeneration Plan is huge, it does not cover the National Sports Centre. The future of the NSC future was subject to a consultation exercise carried out by the Mayor of London last year. The results of this are no doubt sitting on a shelf somewhere in City Hall, but no plans have been put forward by Mayor Khan.

Leaving aside whether it is justifiable to build new homes in the Park, for this battle has been lost, there are many other issues with the regeneration plan. Never truer was the cliche that the devil is in the detail. Amongst issues that have been highlighted are the following.

  • The location of the new Capel Manor College building, next to Crystal Palace Museum, is controversial. Although the space is undeveloped, it was originally mooted for a tram terminus and could yet be required for this purpose.

  • Plans for a wetland to replace the lake by the concert platform look ill-conceived. Where will excess water go?

  • New housing is too high in relation to neighbouring buildings

  • New farm buildings are much taller than the existing ones and would be obtrusive

  • Fencing and vegetation around the intermediate lake (currently used by anglers) will be removed, destroying its peace and privacy.

  • Loss of the camping site

  • Against all of this, Crystal Palace Park is in dire need of regeneration, as anyone who has witnessed its steady decline over the past twenty years would acknowledge. The task now for the local community is to engage constructively with Bromley Council to persuade it to improve the regeneration plan.


    Bookmark and Share

    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

    More from the archives
    Please see our Archive pages