R(103) Crystal Palace Park to get huge boost in green space as LDA unveils proposals for dramatic improvements (from LDA website)

20 October 2005

Proposals to increase the amount of parkland at Crystal Palace by 20 percent &endash; or 39 acres &endash; have been unveiled by Mayor Ken Livingstone's London Development Agency (LDA) today. 

The LDA has set out a series of challenging and ambitious proposals to improve the park, which will be put to the public to have their say from Thursday (20 October).  These include:

• Building a new, environmentally-friendly sports centre closer to the edge of the park.  This has already been backed by local residents, businesses and sports groups.

• Bringing the city farm back into use and combining it with an educational facility to provide training for local people.

• Greatly improving the entrances to the park, making them safer and providing stronger links to the surrounding areas.  

• Creating a new piazza at the Norwood entrance.

• Ensuring the rejuvenation of the park acts as a boost for South London.  The knock-on economic benefit is estimated to be about 1200 jobs.

The LDA will also put forward proposals for some limited-scale development around the entrances of the park in addition to that which already exists to help make the access points more attractive and secure.  This would directly help to fund park improvements.  While the LDA is committing millions of pounds to rejuvenating the park, other sources of funding will be needed to meet the high aspirations that have been set.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said:  `The LDA's proposals will transform this famous part of south London into a first-class metropolitan park for the twenty-first century which meets the needs of local people, sports people and the public at large. This is our opportunity to move on from the indecision that for so long has surrounded the future of this historic park. With considerably more green space, attractive new gateways and the future of its world famous athletics heritage assured, I look forward to this redevelopment acting as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of this important area of south London.'"

LDA Executive Director for regeneration and Development Tony Winterbottom said: "This is a crucial time for the future of Crystal Palace Park.  On Thursday we will set out a series of challenging and exciting proposals, which could bring dramatic improvements to this historic park, securing its future and the future of its athletics facilities.  Now we need the full range of people who care about the park &endash; local residents, businesses, sports groups, old and young, rich and poor &endash; to play their part by looking at the exhibition and letting us know what they think.  This is too important an opportunity to pass by."

Valerie Shawcross, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, said:  "Presently the park is tatty and tired.  People don't feel safe walking around its dark and confusing pathways.  With the Mayor's involvement, we have a chance not just to re-green and beautify this park, but also to make it an enjoyable facility for people of all ages."

In order to give as many people the opportunity to have their say as possible, the LDA will run the consultation for two months over the following dates:

• 20-25 October  Exhibition at lower (Penge) end of park

• 27 Oct - 1 November  Exhibition at upper (western) end of park

• November &endash; December  Exhibition weekend roadshow around town centres

• 20 October &endash; 20 December Proposals and questionnaire available on:


The Mayor of London and the LDA rescued the park's sports facilities with Sport England last year.  The LDA has since carried out detailed analysis of the park and has had extensive consultation with local people.  This included an exhibition of ideas for the park last year that attracted 2500 people , as well as detailed discussions with a dedicated core of local people, and discussions with youth groups and residents of nearby housing estates.

People will have more than two months to study the proposals and have their say, and there will then be continuing engagement with local groups. 

For media enquiries, please contact Oliver Roberts at the LDA Media Team on 020 7954 4206 or Richard Brookes, Mayor's Press Office, on 020 7983 6550.


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20/10/05 Last updated 20/10/05