Chapter 1 - Introduction

Crystal Palace Park has fallen into decline. While several historic features remain, the Park is dilapidated. Some of the Park has already been lost to development, and several modern features are out of keeping with the historic fabric. The London Borough of Bromley's plans for the regeneration of the Park and the Sports Centre have largely failed, and the multiplex cinema scheme was widely, and successfully, opposed. The Crystal Palace Campaign has consistently argued for a process of community consultation leading to consensus as to the future of this great Park. This consultation is the first step in such a process. The Campaign has proposed a cross-borough community trust to take the process forward.

Chapter 2 - The Questionnaire

The Campaign invited a panel of experts to devise a consultation questionnaire. The Park was divided into four areas - the Top Site, the Main Park, the Sports Centre and the Museum Area. Questions were asked about which uses were preferred for each area. Senior individuals from leading polling organisations approved the questionnaire.

Chapter 3 - Distribution

The questionnaire was distributed door to door to 40,000 households across the five boroughs surrounding the Park. It was widely publicised locally, published on the Campaign's website and taken into many schools.

Chapter 4 - The Response

A total of 2,313 individuals responded to the questionnaire, from a wide area around the Park. The Campaign conducted survey work within the Park and compared the results with the results of all respondents. This showed that the results from all respondents were representative of the views of park users generally.

Chapter 5 - Methodology

The results have been verified for statistical integrity and significance. Regional variations have been tested, to see whether there are differences in view between those living near to and further away from the Park. In fact, no regional variations emerged. All qualitative responses have been codified and summarized in the report.

Chapter 6 - The Top Site

The responses for the Top Site showed 70% support* for an ecology park and 65% support for managed parkland. 83% of respondents supported one or other of those options. Park history options, such as exposition or marking out the perimeter of the Palace building, were supported by 64% of all respondents, followed by outdoor arts (such as sculptures, fountains or monuments to the Palace) at 57%, and events (such as open air concerts, music festivals, arts, crafts or food markets) which polled 46%. Community buildings polled 37% and arts and cultural buildings 41%.

A commercial/leisure centre was the least popular option, attracting only 16% support. Of that number, about a fifth also stated, inconsistently, that they would like no building on the Top Site.

When asked whether they would like a building on the Top Site, 42% of all respondents said YES and 45% said NO. Of those who said YES, the great majority were averse to a commercial/leisure option. Those who supported a building tended to favour cultural or community buildings and/or reflections of the Crystal Palace in a parkland setting.

Chapter 7 - The Museum Area

There was strong support for the Museum Area to perpetuate the history of the Crystal Palace. 75% of all respondents nominated the park history option, while only 7% of all respondents voted against it. Respondents also showed a clear tolerance for community and/or arts/cultural buildings there, with 63% and 62% respectively voting for those options.

Chapter 8 - The Main Park

Unsurprisingly, 85% of all respondents supported managed parkland in the Main Park. There was also strong support for ecology (73%), events (72%) and outdoor arts (60%). There is no significant support for further building in the Main Park.

Chapter 9 - The Sports Centre

There was strong support for a renewal of the Sports Centre, with 81% of all respondents supporting that option, and an equal percentage supporting sports and recreation in that area generally. There was also support for outdoor events at the Sports Centre. While 42% supported a commercial/leisure centre in that area, 38% were against it.

Chapter 10 - Conclusions

This is the first time in 150 years that the public has been openly consulted about the future of the Park. There is clear support for use of the Main Park as a landscaped Park, the Sports Centre as a sporting and recreation facility and the Museum Area as a centre for the perpetuation of the history of the Palace and Park, in each case with compatible ancillary uses.

There is overwhelming support for the use of the Top Site as parkland, although this does not rule out other uses. There is strong support for the history of the Palace to be explained and reinforced on the Top Site. There is an equality of views between those who support and oppose a building on the Top Site, although those in the latter category also support parkland options. The building proponents tend to want community and cultural buildings, and buildings that reflect the original Palace, in each case in a parkland setting.

The Crystal Palace Campaign advocates continuing, detailed community consultation leading to the advancement of more specific proposals. We hope that the next stage of consultation will be taken forward by the community trust that we have proposed.

*i.e. 70% of the total number of responses (2249) for the Top Site, ecology question, were YES responses.

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