(B.10) Single Regeneration Budget
The London Borough of Bromley claims that the multiplex will
attract funding and jobs into the area, so that a vote against the
multiplex is a vote against regeneration. NOT TRUE
- The Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding of £14m did
not depend on the multiplex. It depended on 46 projects, 43 of
which have been or will shortly be completed. Most of the SRB
funds have already been spent on these projects and SRB officers
have confirmed that cancellation of the multiplex will not
necessarily affect the rest.
- Bromley Council's application for £28m of Heritage
Lottery Fund money for Park re-landscaping never depended on the
multiplex. £26m was refused, purely because the Fund trustees
considered the scheme too poor to merit funding.
- Neither Bromley nor the developer has considered the loss of
jobs which will result from the multiplex, particularly in the
local high streets. The multiplex building's restaurants, cinemas
and leisure boxes with their 950 dedicated car parking spaces, may
well destroy the economy of the Crystal Palace Triangle, which
will have practically no parking once the highway "improvements"
turn it into a pollution-filled thoroughfare for multiplex
customers. The London Planning Advisory Committee has stated that
the multiplex scheme is likely to overwhelm the Triangle: we
- The Council told GOL (Government Office for London) that the
multiplex would create 450 "full time equivalent jobs". However,
when we probed we were told that it would create 187 full time
jobs and 230 part time jobs. If the latter are the equivalent of
one fifth of a full time job, the total number of full time
equivalent jobs is 233, i.e. half of the alleged total. Even then,
we do not believe the figures. The developer suggests that 33 full
time jobs would be created in the family entertainment centre.
Doing what? Pulling the arms on the bandits?
- If there is a need for a huge commercial leisure development,
it can go on any of the alternative sites, e.g. adjoining East
Croydon Station, where the Council is keen to develop, Bromley
South Railway Station, where UCI recently severed its connection,
or Battersea Power Station, a leisure proposal which has been
frozen for years. None of these would harm the environment, but
all would create jobs. The issue is not whether there should be
jobs created by commercial leisure, but where.
- Alternative proposals for the site would also create jobs. For
example, our People's Park proposals were in line with both SRB
and Heritage Lottery Fund criteria. But neither Bromley nor the
developer will discuss alternative schemes. Even if the park were
simply to be beautified, this in itself would regenerate the
surrounding area and create jobs, because of the magnetic effect
this has on businesses and homeowners. Enlightened town planners,
such as those at Barcelona, have understood this for decades.
Superb, non-commercial, lottery-funded schemes such as Mile End
Park in East London, the Lowry Museum in Salford and the music and
arts centre in Gateshead are based on this premise.
- Conversely, major retail and leisure schemes tend to create
economic desolation in their environs, as the trade is sucked in
to the scheme and out of the local economy.
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Last updated: 12/05/00