P152 - South London Headlines - Park protection victory claimed - 14 September 2004, South London Press (Trinity Mirror Plc 2004)

CAMPAIGNERS are claiming victory in a long running fight to protect part of a popular park. A Government inspector has ruled that the top site of Crystal Palace Park should remain a public park and can only be used for development in special circumstances.

The site was previously earmarked for the construction of a cinema complex.

Developers would now need to satisfy strict criteria to be given permission to build on the site. Crystal Palace Campaign chairman Ray Sacks said the new ruling was a victory for his group which has been critical of Bromley council over its plans for the site.

He said:

"We believe this is the ribbon on the trophy in terms of the protection of the site."

A spokesman for Bromley council said it welcomed the decision.

He said the status would not necessarily prevent developers from building on the land.

He said:

"People would have to demonstrate in planning applications very special circumstances. It is possible planning permission could still be granted."

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8/10/04 Last Updated 8/10/04