(P.58) Fury as Palace plan approved

Protestors accused of "acting like baboons" in meeting

by Mike Addelman, 11 October 2000 Beckenham & Penge Shopper

Protestors reacted with fury after councillors gave the final go-ahead for plans to build a multi-million pound leisure complex at Crystal Palace.

The noisy dissenters slow hand-clapped and jeered in a packed council chamber as councillors unanimously approved final details of the building's design

As the meeting descended into mayhem, Councillor Mike Hall accused the protesters of "acting like baboons" and one angry member of the Crystal Palace Campaign threatened to sabotage the construction work when it starts.

It was the latest episode in an eighteen month batlle against the plans to build the multiplex cinema, shops, exhibition centre and restaurants on the historic site.

The campaigners say the development will be ugly, cause traffic and noise pollution and ruin the atmosphere of Crystal Palace Park where it will be built

Environment advisor to Ken Livingstone and Green Party leader at the Greater London Assembly, Darren Johnson, was also at the meeting.

He said: "This is an outrage. Local people aren't getting their views heard. You cannot use such an historic site in this way.

"I was elected to reduce traffic pollution but this will make our job impossible."

He added: "It will have a disastrous impact on the environment."

Bromley's chief planner Stuart Macmillan rejected [that] the development was a mistake in the planmng process.

"The council was satisfied this application can be approved and I am sure we will soon see a landmark building worthy of this unique site."

He added: "The development is expected to provide more than 300 jobs, as well as affordable leisure opportunities for local people."

Top of page; Return to published articles index; The real baboons...

Last updated 2/11/00; 5/11/00