(B.9) FACT SHEET - used on 26th February anti-UCI demonstration


  1. The 1990 Crystal Palace Act states that any building on the tree-lined ridge of Crystal Palace Park should reflect the architectural style of the original Crystal Palace. English Heritage and the Royal Fine Art Commission concurred that the Ian Ritchie designed airport-terminal look-alike, with space for 950 cars on the roof, does in fact reflect the architectural style of Sir Joseph Paxton's elegant, glass conservatory-style, Crystal Palace built at Sydenham in 1854.
  2. Crystal Palace Park is owned by the London Borough of Bromley and is bordered by four other London boroughs: Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth and Croydon. Lewisham, Southwark and Croydon have spoken out against the development and Lambeth demanded an environmental assessment.
  3. In the years leading up to (and since) the granting of planning permission, there has been minimal consultation with local people, of whom the vast majority do not live in the borough of Bromley. These people, in the adjoining boroughs, have not provided Bromley with a mandate for this development.
  4. Bromley claimed, when submitting the Single Regeneration Budget bid to the Government Office for London, to have already created a community forum but it was not until three months after the SRB bid was successful that it was formed.
  5. In the Bromley Officers Report to the Development Control Committee on 6th May 1999 when full planning permission was granted, the Leisure and Community Services Department invited public comment on this development. It states: "these were mainly negative, reflecting points mentioned in the objection letters. Strong concerns have been expressed by residents and adjacent authorities." Despite these negative comments Members granted full planning approval.
  6. Bromley's bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £28 million for 'restoration' of the Park landscape was turned down as being too contemporary. They were awarded only £2.1 million for specific restoration works. Bromley stated that this landscaping was intrinsically linked 'to the top site development' and that neither could be truly successful without the other. Despite their failure to obtain funding they proceeded to grant full planning permission.
  7. After neglecting this area of Crystal Palace Park since inheriting it from the GLC in 1986, Bromley Council plans to sell a 125-year lease to the developers London and Regional Properties Ltd. for £6.1 million.
  8. The building will cover 12 acres of a tree lined ridge - the highest point in south London, Grade II* listed, designated Metropolitan Open Land and abutting a conservation area. This irreplaceable loss of prime south London parkland will set a precedent.
  9. The principal financial and commercial anchor for the development will be UCI's 4,800-seat, 18-20-screen multiplex cinema. The development will house restaurants and may also include dance and drinking venues and some retail outlets but the developer, London & Regional Properties Ltd. has been granted planning permission on the basis that its use can be altered at any time, to any leisure use and without referral back to the Council. The cinemas will be run by United Cinemas International (UCI) one of the world's largest cinema chains - owned by Paramount / Universal and ultimately the huge American corporation Viacom.
  10. Despite being five times over the EU indicative thresholds, no environmental assessment has been called for and no public enquiry ordered.
  11. The building covers the area of two large football stadiums, standing 21m (70ft) high and 290m (950ft) wide with 53,000 sq. metres of floor space. It has provision for a 950-space car park on the roof, reached by two large concrete vehicle ramps. The 8m (26ft) lower portion is of 'gabion' wall design (caged granite rocks - as seen beside motorways and to support river banks.)
  12. Bromley Council and the developer's traffic assessment has failed to address the concerns of local people. It is estimated that there will be 17,500 extra vehicle movements on Saturdays alone, adding to the already heavy burden of traffic in the area.
  13. There are no underground links to Crystal Palace. Public transport relies on buses and a railway station. The roads are mostly narrow, Victorian, residential streets suffering heavy traffic and regular gridlock.
  14. It is estimated that there is a massive shortfall in car parking requirements. These cars will park in the narrow, mainly residential side streets close by.
  15. The 0.4 mile stretch of park on the edge of Crystal Palace Parade will look like one long car park, comprising the proposed new car park on the reservoir, the 950-space car park on the roof of the multiplex and the new bus terminus.
  16. Opening hours would be 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., 365 days a year.
  17. Noise levels and air pollution will rise dramatically in the area once billed as the "Clean Air Suburb". Bromley still calls itself the "Clean, Green Borough".
  18. Developments of this type, in other parts of the country, have shown an increase in crime in those areas.
  19. The few hundred jobs, which are claimed to result from the development, will be, by their nature, low paid, menial and insecure. (The recent construction of the £600,000 bus terminus - built on parkland - used no local labour.)
  20. In March 1999, Bromley Council spent £2.7 million on a huge police operation to evict less than fifty environmental protesters, equating to a cost of more than £50,000 each. Many trees were felled and ground cover removed after the eviction. This has already had a profound effect on the wildlife in the area.

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Last updated 03/03/00