(R107) Press Release: from London Development Agency (LDA) - 24 January 2006

Support tops 80 percent for Crystal Palace Park revamp

New sports centre backed by seven-to-one - design competition launched.

The London Development Agency's £100m proposals to rejuvenate Crystal Palace Park have received levels of support as high as 82 per cent.  The proposals would see the amount of accessible parkland increased by 39 acres - or 20 percent. 

However the Norwood Triangle proved to be the most controversial part of the park, with none of the four options put forward - two of which include housing - gaining either majority support or opposition.

More than 5,000 people viewed the proposals, through the LDA's exhibitions in the park, at one of the roadshows held in local town centres or at local presentations.  Many more people accessed the proposals on the website, www.crystalpalacepark.org.uk, and in total the LDA received 2,561 completed questionnaires.

Support for a new sports centre was 77 per cent, compared to opposition of 11 per cent.  The LDA said the seven-to-one backing for a new state-of-the-art facility could help its aim to have it in place by 2010, two years before London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The LDA has taken a further step toward this by launching an international design competition for a new sports facility, with firms set to respond by the end of March.

Valerie Shawcross, London Assembly member for Lambeth and Southwark, said: "These results show that local people want action.  For too long, Crystal Palace Park has been under-used, with areas that feel run-down or unsafe.  These proposals will help to make a dramatic improvement to the area, and I am especially pleased to see the strength of support for a new sports centre.  There is, however, opposition to the Norwood Triangle options. We must now look in detail at the comments people have made - the support and the opposition - to find a way forward that harnesses the potential of this corner in a way that meets the needs and addresses the concerns of local people and businesses."

Other results from the consultation show:

• The proposals for a grand new entrance at the park's north-west corner - the Rockhills Gate - received 59 per cent support, compared with 18 per cent opposition.  These proposals include replacing the existing caravan park with a feature glasshouse, a walled garden for community use, a nursery, housing around a new courtyard and newly accessible park space.  

• The highest level of support - 92 per cent - came for the principle of making the park accessible to all.  Only one per cent opposed this.  The most popular physical proposal (at 82 per cent) was for the Lower Lakes area by the dinosaurs, which includes a new boathouse, a café and a children's facility.  

• The highest opposition came for the option of using housing at the Norwood Triangle to pay for a new underground carpark serving the local town centre.  This was opposed by 42 per cent, compared with support of 32 per cent.  

• Half of the respondents use the park at least once a week  

• More than half the responses - 55 per cent - came from people aged 26 to 45.  Seven per cent were from those aged under 26, while people aged 56 and over accounted for 21per cent of responses.

The comments contained in the consultation will now be independently analysed in detail, along with the submissions made by political, business, sporting and community groups.  This analysis will be published next month, and will help the LDA to further shape its proposals where necessary.

The Agency's drive to bring more people into the park is already well underway, with 13,000 people visiting the ice skating rink held at the top of the park from December to January. 

The LDA will take on responsibility for the sports centre in March and has an option to take on responsibility for the park as a whole by 2009. 

For media enquiries, please contact Oliver Roberts at the LDA Media Team on 020 7954 4206.


The London Development Agency is the Mayor's agency for business and jobs. The LDA prepares the Mayor's business plan for London and mobilises the support and resources of hundreds of partner organisations to help build a thriving economy for London's people, businesses and communities. The LDA is dedicated to improving sustainability, health and equality of opportunity for Londoners.

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28/2/06 Last updated 28/2/06