(R.8) Chairman's Letter accompanying the 19,000 strong petition given to UCI on 9th October 1999 march - lists the people and organisations opposing Bromley Council's plans.



The Chairman
UCI (UK) Limited
90 Great Bridgewater St.
Manchester M1 5JW

9th October 1999


Dear Sir,

Crystal Palace Park

I am enclosing with this letter a copy of our petition against the multiplex cinema development on Crystal Palace Park. It contains the names of 19,000 local people who are bitterly opposed to this scheme. I am writing to ask you to reconsider your company's involvement in the development.

It is no exaggeration to term this the most unpopular leisure development ever proposed in this country. The scheme is opposed by, amongst others**:

Should you decide to become the main tenant in this scheme, you will do so against an articulate and powerful coalition of community, environmental, political and business interests.

This 52,000 square metre commercial development will create immense damage to the park and surrounding area. The park is a conservation area, Metropolitan Open Land and a Grade 2* Listed Park on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. It is the highest point in south London and a magnificent tree-lined ridge. The surrounding area is a Victorian suburb with a village high street. On planning, land-use, traffic, transportation and environmental grounds it is hard to think of a more sensitive urban location than this park. The notion that it is to accommodate the largest cinema in the South and the largest rooftop car park anywhere in the country is quite abhorrent to local people.

I am spelling this out frankly, because your senior management has refused to respond to the Campaign's letters, refused to come to Crystal Palace to meet the community, and has generally behaved in an unfortunately dismissive manner towards local people, who are profoundly concerned by these proposals. Your unresponsive attitude has now caused us to mount lawful, non-violent direct action such as today's march and rally. The objective is to inform the public in general and your clientele in particular of your association with the environmental vandalism proposed at Crystal Palace, so that they can decide whether they wish to patronise your establishments. We intend to drive home the message that local communities do not have to put up with your apparent indifference to their concerns, but can refuse to accept you as a neighbour and fight back against this kind of imposition.

We are proud to be part of a community that has shown its ability to continue this fight. I must tell you that we have fought for more than 2 years and are prepared to fight indefinitely to preserve our environmental assets. There are many urban sites in London far more suitable for cinema development than our green space. We therefore ask you to leave our park alone.

Should you do so, you will be walking away from a scheme which, in the light of its deep unpopularity, is most unlikely to be profitable. You will also win many friends, and rightly earn yourself the healthy (and certainly more profitable) image of a sensitive and environmentally-conscious leisure company. We hope and pray that you will choose this option.

Yours sincerely,


Chairman Crystal Palace Campaign

**Organisations opposed to the scheme: the list, given above, of organisations opposing the scheme was attempting to give the names of most of the larger groups - hence the caveat "amongst others". However, there is one large group which is specfically opposed and would like to be added and that is the Crystal Palace Foundation. Thanks all for the support.
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Last updated 16/10/99
30/12/99 - added Crystal Palace Foundation note