(R91) Mr. GERAINT DAVIES (Labour)


Crystal Palace Bill notes & news releases from Mr Geraint Davies:

News April 2001
Save Crystal Palace Park 2003



Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Croydon Central, is today presenting the Crystal Palace Bill 2001 in Parliament. The Bill aims to put tight constraints on the type of building that is permissible on the Crystal Palace site and transfer responsibility out of the London Borough of Bromley to the Greater London Authority.

Said Geraint Davies:

"The simple fact is that the Crystal Palace Act 1990 had meant to ensure that the redevelopment of the Crystal Palace site was done in the spirit of the original Crystal Palace. However, the current proposal, with its 'run of the mill' activities that could be constructed anywhere in Britain, hardly does justice to the aspirations of the Act. Unfortunately the Act is not precisely defined enough and this was confirmed in the Judicial Review. Therefore, I have presented a Bill to ensure that what happens on Crystal Palace is something we can all be proud of across London and will have international recognition.

"Secondly, the responsibility for the site passed to the London Borough of Bromley when Margaret Thatcher abolished the Greater London Council. Crystal Palace is a strategic site that should be managed by the Greater London Authority and the current plans of the London Borough of Bromley is thought by many to demonstrate that they have little serious ambition for the site.

"I have been unhappy with the proposals for Crystal Palace since I first saw them as Leader of Croydon Council in 1996. I am glad to be in a position to use the Parliamentary system to help achieve what is best for Crystal Palace.

"Any development should respect the history of the site, its parkland location and the residential environment. The current plans have no proper environmental impact assessment and probably breach EU law.

"In my view, the new tram system in Croydon should eventually be linked to Crystal Palace so that visitors from across London can visit by tube and tram without major environmental impact.

"As a site on a hill, Crystal Palace is part of London's skyline and could become a site of international architectural significance. First we must dismiss the current plan which reaches new lows of mediocrity."

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The current proposal for the development has now been abandoned. This is great news for the campaign, but the work must go on - to protect the site from future mediocre developments.

I have long supported the Crystal Palace Campaign - the community campaign to prevent the shoddy multiplex development at the top of Crystal Palace Park.

The site of the former Crystal Palace, it has always been considered crucial that any development be in keeping with the heritage of the site, as well as reflecting its position as the highest point in Greater London, a meeting point of five London Boroughs and a conservation area, community and shopping area of importance.

Current plans passed by Bromley mean a giant multiplex might be built on the site, completely at odds with the Act passed by Parliament in 1990 to protect the area. The large car parks visible to all on the building will create extra traffic in an already heavily-congested local road network.

Bromley Council have already shown that they can't look after the Park. Then they have published their draft UDP - guidance for future planning in the borough. This removes protection from much of the Park, meaning that even if the current designs are defeated by community pressure, the site and much of the rest of the Park will always be threatened with equally mediocre and damaging plans.

That's why I presented the Crystal Palace Bill 2001 to Parliament, calling for more protection for the Park and moving responsibility for this major park from Bromley Council to the Greater London Authority and Ken Livingstone.

© Geraint Davies, 2003

Crystal Palace Bill notes & news releases from Mr Geraint Davies:

News April 2001
Save Crystal Palace Park 2003

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29/2/04 Last updated 29/2/04