(N.4) Crystal Palace Plans...


Crystal Palace Developments - a chance to have your say (February 1999)
Cinema Operators - list as we thought feasible then
Bromley e-mail - (for the record, link to address page given)

Crystal Palace Developments - A Chance to Have Your Say

Two planning applications concerning Crystal Palace Park have been received by Bromley Council. There is an open invitation to look at the plans and send in comments in writing before the 26th February 1999 (Extended to 2nd March). (address below)

Copies of both these applications can be seen at:-

1:- Planning and Engineering Reception, Bromley Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley (Monday to Friday 0930 - 1700) 0181 - 313 4956

2:- Penge Library, Maple Road, Penge (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 0930 - 1800; Saturday 0930 - 1700; closed Wednesday) 0181 - 778 8722

3:- Anerley Library, Anerley Town Hall, Anerley Road (Monday 0930 - 2000; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 0930 - 1800; Saturday 0930 - 1700; closed Thursday) 0181 778 7457

4:- Upper Norwood Library, Westow Hill (Monday 1000 - 1900; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 0900 - 1900; closed Wednesday) 0181 - 670 2551

Comments: I believe there is a third planning application for a "viewing tower" - I'll find out more and report shortly.

This an opportunity to see much of the story of the developments planned by Bromley Council, particularly the new "Crystal Palace" backed by London and Regional Properties. See plans and elevations of the new building in all its glory. See what a rooftop car park for just under 1000 cars might be like (by the way..Safeways, Upper Norwood, car park holds about 100 cars per level i.e. 200 cars in all. It would need another SEVEN floors to hold the cars planned for the roof of the new building. Even that will not be enough - Bromley admitted to having made a mistake with the figures, so a further 500 (five hundred!) cars will be looking for parking on the streets each evening. If they lined up, the queue would stretch all the way to Dulwich Village! OR all the way down Westwood Hill and Sydenham Road!

18 cinemas have been planned to fill part of the building as well as a number of restaurant areas. One of these (marked on Level 6 - 4 restaurant areas) on its own occupies a space 56m x 28m (184 ft x 92 ft)! How many local establishments could be fitted into that one space? (No prizes.)

Bromley claim they are restoring the Park. This is true to a limited extent. However, look for the small print... "The Colour Swatch" for example claims that "The Paxton bedding schemes will have a modern interpretation ..." . Far from being restoration, this large area of "rolling land sculpture" with "moulded grass forms" is nothing like the Paxton designs. Its amorphous assymetric shape does not in any way embody the elegant symmetrical formalism of Paxton's integrated paths and fountains (where are the fountains?). You can't help but get the impression that they are designed not with restoration in mind but with a view to integrating "that building" into the body of the Park. It seems as though, not content with foisting the building on us, Bromley are determined that we should be the lucky recipients of a garden planner's wet and grassy dream.

The plan for the maze promises that its "former glory (will be) restored". This is one of the positive aspects of the planning details.

THERE IS NOT MUCH TIME - peruse the plans at any of the four locations and then write to Bromley Council - let them know your views. Praise what is good, but protest (essential to be in writing)where necessary - see CONTACTS for addresses


These are the potential cinema operators to write to explaining why they do not have the support of local people (and would be best to invest elsewhere!):

Mr. Alan McNair, Chief Executive, UCI (UK)Ltd. - see CONTACTS for address

First Leisure Corporation PLC, 7 Soho Street, Soho Square, London W1V 6QU

Ster-Kinekor (UK) Ltd., 3rd Floor, St. George House, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3SY [Ed. last two above now out of the running]

New information: The wording used in our petition was to show potential cinema operators the strength of feeling from local residents. If there was any doubt on this point, Saturday's gathering (6th March) should have helped to dispell it! No multiplex of this type has been built without the backing of a cinema operator - it would not be commercially viable. So far ABC, Warner Village, Virgin and Odeon have all said that they are not interested in the Crystal Palace site. They have based their decision on the lack of car parking space provided and the knowledge that congestion in the area already virges on gridlock. ABC wrote to the Campaign that they would not be part of a multiplex where cars are to be parked on the roof. They are involved in the development and upgrading of Beckenham and Streatham, whilst Warner are developing the Grants site in Croydon. They feel saturation point has been reached.

However, it has been confirmed that UCI are in negotiations with the developer, London and Regional Properties and Bromley Council. So please voice your protest to them at the UCI address above (telephone: 0161 - 455 4000). 

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Bromley Council - useful e-mail addresses

So as not to repeat addresses in too many places the original list was deleted from this spot - see CONTACTS for a full list.

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Last updated 31/5/99