Bromley Unitary Development Plan

Proof of Philip Kolvin

Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Campaign

Section 20

Over the last few decades a lot of public open space within urban areas has been lost to encroaching development and too much of what is left has been neglected and poorly maintained.

Urban White Paper[119]




Crystal Palace Park is a nationally important site with a unique history. It fulfils an important recreational need within the sub-region, being the main strategic park for this part of London. It also occupies a green vantage point within the topography of South London. Recent events have underlined the need for its sustainable regeneration. Local consultation has underlined how it is prized as an environmental and historic resource. The entire trend of thinking on parkland regeneration stresses the need for a coherent, strategic approach which involves the support of local people. This is reflected in planning policy, the development of new bodies protective of parks, and the generation of new funding streams for regeneration based on recreation, culture, heritage and the environment.


Crystal Palace Park cries out for a framework vision developed in conjunction with the local community and the stakeholder bodies regionally and nationally. For 6 years now the Crystal Palace Campaign has tried to fill the void by bringing stakeholders together and consulting as to the future of the Park, while fighting a rearguard action against a palpably damaging scheme. This has been a difficult and exhausting tightrope to walk.


At the point at which the damaging development has collapsed, and Bromley is at last showing signs of wishing to engage in dialogue, these retrograde planning proposals will return us to a wholly undesired conflict. It is clear that the whole Park should retain its MOL designation so as to promote a coherent, integrated approach and to restrain further fragmentation. It is highly desirable that at some point the Plan refers to the strategic importance of the Park and sets out in the broadest terms the desire for a sustainable regeneration as parkland: we have suggested wording which Bromley has never contested.


The Sports Centre requires regeneration, but there is anxiety as to the perimeter of the proposal, whether a greater footprint is desired, and as to the intended use. It is within Bromley's power to lay those anxieties to rest by reining in the perimeter and writing in language which makes it clear to everyone, whether or not they are avid readers of Annex C of PPG2, that Bromley does not envisage a greater area of built form than exists at present, that any development will observe strict criteria, and that the future of the site is a sporting one.

Top of Section; Previous Section (19); Appendices - List; Contents


[119] - Our towns and cities: the future. Delivering an urban renaissance. DETR, 2000.

©Philip Kolvin