As the title of this report implies, this consultation represents the first step in public consultation over the regeneration of this great Park. It is in fact the first time in 150 years that the public has been openly consulted over its future.


In all areas apart from the Top Site, the results are clear and predictable. The public clearly believes that the Main Park should continue to be used as a landscaped park. The Sports Centre should continue to be used as a Sports Centre, and the Museum Area as a museum. Compatible ancillary uses are also widely supported.


In relation to the Top Site, the results are slightly more complex. There is an overwhelming belief that the Top Site should be used as managed parkland and/or an ecology park. However, neither of these uses is necessarily incompatible with other uses. There is strong support for the history of the Palace to be reinforced through exposition and/or monuments. There is also majority support for outdoor arts there.


The notion of a building on the Top Site is supported by nearly as many people as those who oppose it, with the most popular options amongst supporters being for arts/cultural buildings and community buildings. The commercial/leisure centre option for the Top Site is clearly rejected.


We hope that these results will enable the debate to be moved forward.


It will be necessary to start exploring the views of the public in a little more detail, and in a more specific way. For example, the questionnaire responses may demonstrate tentative support for some form of arts/cultural building in a landscaped setting on the Top Site. But whether that would prove more popular than no building at all can only be explored in the context of more specific proposals. While a local community arts facility in extensive grounds might attract support, a new Festival Hall in a small garden might not, and vice versa.


The methods for community consultation have moved forwards in recent years, and best practice is emerging through the involvement of park consultants, environmental trusts and umbrella groups such as the Urban Parks Forum. It is now common to find weekend workshops at which communities work on park master plans together with consultants, or "inquiries by design" meetings in which local people have the opportunity to work with architects on the fine tuning of proposals. It is only through a patient, iterative process that a community can get the park that it wants. While this is sometimes time-consuming and laborious, it is ultimately worthwhile. In a case as complex and significant as Crystal Palace Park, it is imperative.


The Crystal Palace Campaign would be willing to carry out the next stage of the consultation process. However, we believe that the best hope for Crystal Palace Park is a partnership between all stakeholders through the medium of a community Trust. We should therefore like the Trust to take forward the process of democratic consultation. We hope that this report will lay the foundation for further consultation, and a Park which we will be proud to leave to our children.

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Report Contents
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Crystal Palace Campaign March 2002 - Consultation Starts Here
Copyright: Day, Kolvin, Sacks 2002
Last updated: 26 March 2002