(P146) Public having say on plans for site - by Richard Simcox, News Shopper 4 August 2004

CRYSTAL PALACE: Debate on future of park coming soon

A MAJOR debate on the future of a [sic] historic park will begin next month.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone's regeneration body the London Development Agency (LDA) will ask the public what they want to see Crystal Palace Park used for.

Development in the Grade II* listed parkland has been a controversial issue since plans for a leisure complex on the top site were unveiled in 1991. The scheme was defeated after eco-warriors occupied the site for a year+.

The future of the National Sports Centre (NSC) was also in jeopardy until Mr Livingstone the LDA, Sport England and Bromley Council brokered a deal earlier this year.

Now, after months of meetings with community groups and numerous consultants' reports, the LDA has announced it will consult the public in September.

Prior to unveiling its own set of proposals for the park in mid September, the LDA is inviting comments via a website.

Mr Livingstone said:

"In spite of a great deal of restoration and maintenance, parts of the park today are in need of substantial renovation. This consultation will allow residents to have their say"

The LDA, which says "major work" is needed at Crystal Palace, will take on responsibility for the NSC in 2006 and has reserved an option to run the park by 2009.

A marquee will be erected in the park between September 18 and September 26 for the public to view and respond to the plans.

Consultants will use these responses to shape a second round of consultation early next year.

A Crystal Palace Community Association spokesman said: "The LDA will be the third London government agency to take control of the park. Let's hope it's third time lucky"

Visit www.crystalpalacepark.org.uk to post comments.

+ [Ed.] note: The eco-warriors occupied the site for a period early on in the dispute. The multiplex development was defeated by the Crystal Palace Campaign with a variety of legal actions and other devices.

See news item (N14). Also... there have been a number of similar articles in the press.

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30/8/04 Last Updated 30/8/0