meeting of 24 September 2005

Salvation Army Hall, Westow Hill

The meeting opened with about 60 participants in the hall. Specifically absent were CPCA representatives, who have decided to completely withdraw from the dialogue process, although there were a few members of the CPCA in the audience.

The objectives for the meeting and draft agenda can be found on the Events page.

The dialogue process has been going on for about three years and many issues have been worked through. Initially a lot of the effort was directed simply to enable a meaningful dialogue between, what were then, fiercely opposing factions. Going on from that, more positive outcomes emerged; for example, criteria for assessing the applicability of various ideas to the park were developed in the light of the community's aspirations. The London Development Agency (LDA) then came in at a time when rescuing the National Sports Centre became a priority (March 2004). The LDA, in working on that problem have now also developed, in conjunction with the dialogue process a set of coherent options and ideas for the regeneration of the park. Much of this was seen at the previous Main Group meeting (see the full report). This is in accord with public consultation which suggested that the park badly needed improvement and that just "leaving it as it is" was not an option that was favoured.

At today's meeting and following the excellent work done by J & L Gibbons, the architects appointed by the LDA, an overview of the proposed park concepts was presented. It is quite clear that we stand at the threshold of a new era for the park. It is true that this is largely driven by the need to provide a new sports centre - the Olympics have an obvious link to this - but the proposals will set the park on a path to meet the needs of today and for generations to come.

Details of this work will be shown at open public exhibitions where comments will be invited, mostly in the form of a questionnaire. Following that, some further discussions within the dialogue group should enable the LDA to put forward a formal proposal/plan for the regeneration of the park. In addition, there will be a competition for the detailed design of the sports centre which will include a 50 metre Olympic-standard pool. If the processes go smoothly, it will be opened in 2010. It is thought to be possible to keep the old NSC operating until the new building is ready for action.

A proposal designed to generate some funds to help in the financing of these projects and which aroused some controversy, was that of new housing located at points around the periphery of the park. In fact, taken together, all the park proposals, including the housing, will result in a net gain of publicly accessible land of about 25 acres.

There were also proposals for improvements to the park which can be done in the short term.

All this (and more) will be shown in detail at the public exhibitions...

Thursday 20 October to Tuesday 25 October - Penge Gateway
Thursday 27 October to Tuesday 1 November - Ornamental Gardens

There will also be "Roadshow" events at several locations around the park (to be announced shortly).

Website: www.crystalpalacepark.org

The full report of today's meeting will be published here when it becomes available.


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24/8/05 Last updated 24/8/05