(N.6) The Alternative Crystal Palace - Ray Hall design

Crystal Palace Look-alike

Many of us attended the meeting set up by the Crystal Palace Protest group at Kingsdale school where we were introduced to the very attractive looking alternative multiplex cinema and leisure complex designed by Ray Hall for People and Palaces International Ltd.

The pen and ink aerial view of this Crystal Palace look-alike sitting in a pastel park gave us all a surge of hope that this was to be a happy compromise.

But were we being got at through our emotions? This building will cater for an influx of as many cars and people for as many hours a week as the monstrosity. It has its good points - it leaves the ridge free of buildings, the thousand cars and the cinema screens would be dug down deep into the park. The drawing gives us a view of the peaceful environment we are striving for.

Look more closely, though and you see that there are still entrance ramps, downwards this time. Has this design relieved the traffic congestion, the pollution, the vandalism, the crime, the noise, the litter which will be brought to our homes? Will cinema goers hazard life and limb across the traffic to patronise our restaurants and pubs when they can move effortlessly into one of the many eateries in the complex?

A good many people were obviously seduced by the new plan, believing that it would be better to give in to commercialism on these terms. Others were determined to fight against the violation of our area and the use of our historic park. The majority were willing to listen but realised that there was too little information in the new scheme to make any informed decision. We certainly await the production of detailed facts, figures and plans to bring this fairy castle down to earth - more details are available at Upper Norwood Library, Westow Hill until the 26th July.

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Alternative plans for Crystal Palace (P.15)

Last updated 11/7/99