by the Crystal Palace Campaign
regarding detailed planning permission for
the "Top Site" of Crystal Palace Park

Application ref. 99.0155



Crystal Palace Campaign
10 Jasper Road
London SE19 1SJ

Tel: 0181 244 8399
Fax: 0181 670 4395
E-mail: crystal@crystal.dircon.co.uk
Website: www.crystal.dircon.co.uk


CP ACT - access from Anerley Hill
CP ACT - style
Features comparison: old & new buildings
CP ACT - parliamentary undertakings
Site of the planning application ("Top Site")
High buildings & the skyline
Restaurant etc. - Uses
Environmental Assessment
Appendix 1: List of drawings
Appendix 2: Letters
Appendix 3: The Skyline
Appendix 4: Traffic calculations

Covering Letter: Crystal Palace Campaign 23 March 1999

[Editor's note: a copy of this letter and the enclosures was sent to all the members of the Development Control Committee - see Contacts List]

Dear Councillor,

The planned establishment of a vast multiplex development at Crystal Palace has generated widespread concerns. These relate to:

A massive proposal of this type may well be suitable within a busy town centre with adequate late night parking and public transport links. It may also be suitable on out of town sites and large shopping malls. It is certainly not suitable on historic parkland in the midst of a residential area. Parks should receive sensitive, environmentally friendly schemes that benefit the local community such as those at Mile End and Battersea.

The Campaign, established in response to the development, has an extensive database of active supporters. We are not, as sometimes depicted, a romantic minority, obstructing progress. We are thousands of tax paying citizens desperately concerned about the effect of these proposals upon our lives. We do not need to speculate: our concerns are based upon the experience of the lawyers, transportation experts, planners, environmentalists, local government officials, magistrates, probation officers, doctors and social workers who, when not following their professions, are dedicated Campaigners. Our extensive support, from all walks of life and areas of the country, has enabled us to mount an ongoing legal challenge, now proceeding to the House of Lords.

We feel it is not only our right, but also our responsibility, to continue to bring our concerns to the attention of all those who are in a position to influence the final decision on this critically important issue. We will therefore be making a presentation to the meeting of the Development Control Committee on 30 March.

We are pleased to send you, as one of the members of that committee, a copy of our submissions, so that you will have the opportunity to give them full and proper consideration. There are matters of law in it, and we have not disguised our intention to bring further legal action if necessary. But we would respectfully ask you not to allow that to distract you from applying your experience and judgement to the pure planning matters we have raised, for example those relating to traffic, skyline views and content, since these are of great importance to the community.

We appreciate that we must appear as adversaries to you. We are not, and do not wish to be. The overwhelming majority of our number knew nothing about this scheme until the Council had contracted with the developer, included the scheme in its Single Regeneration Bid, received contingent funding for the overall project and was entertaining an outline planning application from its development partner. Our requests to meet with Council leaders have been rebuffed, and now Council officers will not attend meetings at which we are present. We hope you will forgive us for feeling excluded from genuine participation in the future of this wonderful Park.

The claim for 'regeneration' of the most deprived parts of Penge and Anerley will only be achieved at the expense of deterioration of other adjoining areas  mainly outside the Borough of Bromley. Councillors must ask themselves whether they and their families, would like a scheme of this proportion near to their own family homes, say on Kelsey Park, Sundridge Park, Beckenham Place or Chislehurst Common.

We hope that, independently of the developer's application now coming before you as a Development Control. Committee, there will be room for the Council., the developer, the funding bodies and the community to sit down together. With goodwill on both sides it should be possible to see whether there may be a way through this most unfortunate imbroglio, to obviate further conflict, litigious and otherwise. We have never sought anything else.

Yours sincerely


Vivien A Day
Hon Secretary
Crystal Palace Campaign

Enclosures: Representations by Crystal Palace Campaign
Campaign Video

Top of page

Application ref. 99.0155


1.1: The objection of the Crystal Palace Campaign, and the thousands of local people it represents, to this huge commercial building is well known. The community remains opposed to a building at the head of this historic park, which is twice the size of a football stadium, the largest multiplex in the capital, the biggest rooftop car park in the country, and vehicle ramps dominating the hitherto green skyline ridge for several miles around.

1.2: Nevertheless, the Campaign wishes to contribute positively to the planning process, to ensure that the environmental consequences for the environs are minimised so far as possible. It is also obliged to point out a number of respects in which the actions proposed by the Council are unlawful, so that unnecessary and costly legal action may, so far as possible, be avoided.

1.3: The matters dealt with below are summarised as follows:

Section 2: It is unlawful to drive an access road and tunnel off Anerley Hill for the purpose of or in connection with this building.

Section 3: The architectural style of the building is contrary to that required by the Crystal Palace Act 1990

Section 4: The grant of planning permission for the building would involve the Council in a breach of Parliamentary Undertakings, and would therefore be a contempt of Parliament because (a) the building is not predominantly of glass and metal and (b) it does not reflect the spirit of the Crystal Palace.

Section 5: The site of the application for approved matters shows land not the subject of the outline planning application. The Council is not entitled to grant detailed planning permission in respect of the extra land. A separate permission must be applied for.

Section 6: The roofscape of the building, which is that of a rooftop car park, has a deleterious impact on strategic views and on the major skyline ridge, contrary to policies E10 and E11 of the Unitary Development Plan. Approval should be refused on those grounds.

Section 7: There were a series of erroneous assumptions in the preceding traffic impact work with the result that the overall numbers of cars visiting this development will be vastly in excess of the car parking spaces available. The development will generate 16,000 vehicle movements in the park each Saturday. The shortfall in car parking spaces is of the order of 1,500 - 2,500 car parking spaces. The excess is of such an order as to render unreliable the traffic impact work carried out by WS Atkins on behalf of the Council.

A series of thorough-going conditions are recommended so as to discourage car-borne travel at this site. A principal suggestion is that the number of cinema seats should be limited to the number given by the developer when the outline application received permission, namely, 4,100, which was the basis of the assessment by the Council at the outline stage. Members are requested to give particularly close consideration to all of the recommendations, which are designed to lessen the most serious environmental impacts on the surrounding residential areas.

Section 8: The inclusion of more than one restaurant in the development is unlawful as contrary to the Crystal Palace Act 1990. In any event, conditions are required to ensure that the night-time refreshment trade, which underpins the economy of the Norwood Triangle, is not harmed irrevocably.

Section 9: The grant of a detailed planning permission without a prior environmental assessment would be contrary to both U.K. and European law. The assessment should take account of the fact that the developer has still not disclosed the proposed content of the building, so that worst-case assumptions will be necessary.
Top of section; Top of page


2.1: The Crystal Palace Act 1990 terms the top site the "pink land". It terms the terrace immediately below the top site "green land". Together, these plots are termed "the relevant land." The park as a whole is termed "Crystal Palace and Park."

2.2: Section 3(1)(a) of the Act permits the Council to lease the relevant land for a term not exceeding 125 years for the provision of the multiplex.

2.3: Section 3(1)(b) of the Act permits the Council for the purpose of or in connection with the leisure development to grant easements, rights, privileges or licences as may be required (i) for the provision of underground services and (ii) for the emergency services in respect of land within the Crystal Palace and Park.

2.4: The term "underground services" is well understood to mean foul and surface water drainage, water, electricity and the like.

2.5: Therefore, the Act permits the construction of the leisure development on the top site. It also permits rights to be granted over the remainder of the park for the provision of underground services and the emergency services for the purpose of or in connection with the leisure development.

2.6: However, the Act does not permit a road to be laid in the park, or a tunnel, for general traffic for the purpose of or in connection with the development.

2.7: The detailed plans show that a road is to be taken into the park off Anerley Hill, which is then to be driven into a tunnel for general traffic to serve the development. The Act permits neither the road nor the tunnel.

2.8: Therefore, as the road layout stands, it is unlawful. The Act permits no discretion in this matter.

2.9: Condition 04 of the planning permission entitles the Council and the developer to vary the road layout. It is respectfully suggested that a new, lawful, road layout be considered by the developers for submission to the Council. The Crystal Palace Campaign would ask to be consulted as to the feasibility and acceptability of any new proposal.
Top of section; Top of page


3.1: Section 4 of the Crystal Palace Act 1990 requires any new building on this site to reflect the architectural style of the original Crystal Palace.

3.2: A comparison of the two buildings may be seen at appendix 1. The Campaign notes with regret the Council's failure to respond to requests that a daytime, face-on, illustration be published of the Crystal Palace Parade elevation. However, the Campaign's illustration of the multiplex at appendix 1 has been produced by an architect from the architectural elevations, and has never been challenged as inaccurate.

3.3: The meaning and interpretation of the statutory requirement is currently the subject of a Court of Appeal judgement, leave to appeal against which has been sought from the House of Lords.

3.4: Quite evidently, it would be premature for the reserved matters application to be determined until after these proceedings have been completed. However, it is thought appropriate to set out the Campaign's position at this stage.

3.5: This site is already protected as falling within a Grade 2* listed historic park, abutting a conservation area and occupying the most prominent landmark position in South London. The Select Committee for the Crystal Palace Act 1990 could therefore have entrusted the Council as planning authority with the decision as to the appearance of the new building, but it decided to write in additional safeguards.

3.6: It knew that the appearance of the original Palace was that of a great conservatory of glass and metal. It had before it a hotel scheme with a appearance strikingly similar to that building. Notwithstanding the opposition of the Council, it wrote into the Act section 4 which requires the style of the original to be reflected.

3.7: The Chairman of the Committee, Graham Allen, stated:

"The consideration here did not, and does not, apply to the current development which we feel does clearly conform to the style and spirit of the original Crystal Palace. Indeed we commend it - as I did in my opening remarks - for the efforts to make sure that the spirit and style was kept intact. Our duty, of course, is not to this particular development, but to the legislation and possible future developments other than the one before us on the maps..."

3.8: All four members of that Committee have written to state that the current proposal clearly fails the statutory test that they set (appendix 2). Their views are shared by the author of the leading work on Crystal Palace (Prof. John McKean) and the author of the leading work on architectural history (Dan Cruickshank), also appended.

3.9: The reasons lying behind the Select Committee's views are that the building displays no visual resemblance to the original Crystal Palace at all. Indeed, the Court of Appeal recognised as much.

3.10: The fundamental visual characteristics of the buildings are entirely different, as the following demonstrates.
Top of section; Top of page

Crystal Palace


Barrel vaulted nave

Flat roof

Central transept (triumphal arch)


End transepts




Recessing of transepts

Entirely linear

Stepped construction


Vertical walls

45 degree walls

Non-overhanging roofs

Overhanging roofs, 4 metres

Curvilinear design

Angular design

Complex (i.e. varied) elevations

Simple, linear elevations

Complex roof line

Flat roof line

No vehicle ramps

Ramps on three sides

No rooftop car park

Rooftop car park

No plant on roof

Prominent plant on roof

Crystal Palace arched motif on transepts and end of nave

No motif

Entirely glass clad elevations

Crystal Palace Parade side, only 6 metres of 21 metres is glass clad. First 11 metres is stainless steel, next 6 metres is glass, remaining 4 metres is a blue linear lighting strip, a safety barrier and wind modifier and stainless steel cladding to plant. Park side. Similar to Parade side, save that first 11 metres is quartz aggregate concrete.

Transparent, glass, roof

Concrete car park

100% glass clad

Under 25% glass clad

Repeated ornamental, arched, motif on window panels

No motif on window panels. Rectangular panes of glass

Repetition of same structure through entire elevation

Different construction elevation in ground and first floors and on roof.

Colour scheme for windows (Owen Jones)

No colour scheme for windows

Resembling large conservatory

Not resembling conservatory

Visually, a 19th century palace

Visually, a late 20th century leisure centre

Cathedral-like plan

Simple rectangle

19th century idiom

Late 20th century idiom

Top of table

3.11: Part of the reason for these differences is that the architect understood that he was free to design to the appearance of the original Hyde Park, which was a simple, rectangular, flat-roofed building, not appreciating that the Act referred to the Palace as built here, and not its earlier incarnation at Hyde Park. He did not appreciate his (understandable) error until after the designs were complete and the application for outline permission submitted. For some or all of the design process he believed the Act to refer to style and not spirit.[1]

3.12: In his report of 24th March 1998, the Chief Planner dealt with style and spirit together, but they are separate requirements and must be dealt with separately. Thus, his references to the orientation of the building, its use and its integration with the landscape are irrelevant. What is required is a comparison building to building, and the question: "Does the style of the new reflect the style of the old?"

3.13: Furthermore, the Chief Planner gave the impression in his report that the question was one of "style in its broadest sense." In fact, that quotation is from that part of the Select Committee proceedings dealing with the undertaking, which as finally drafted replaced "style" with "spirit". The use of the word "style" in section 4 is to be construed neither broadly nor narrowly but by reference to the adjective accompanying it: architectural.

3.14: Putting the detail aside, this is a building standing on the footprint of one of the most famous buildings in architectural history. It will be looked at by millions of ordinary people, for whose benefit section 4 was written. It is a common sense test, not an abstruse, technical one. No ordinary person would believe the style of the original to be reflected.

3.15: The Committee is asked to take a common sense view of the matter, not to indulge in semantics or linguistic analysis, but to stand back from the illustrations and ask itself: is this a reflection of the architectural style of the original? The view of the Crystal Palace Campaign is that it is not.
Top of section; Top of page


4.1: At the time of the passage of the Act, the Council gave undertakings to Parliament that as planning authority it would ensure that the proposed building would:
a) contain a predominance of glass and metal or similar materials; and

b) reflect the spirit of the original Crystal Palace.

4.2: The proposed building complies with neither of these undertakings. Consequently, it would be a contempt of Parliament to grant planning permission for the proposed designs. Please note that the contempt of Parliament will reside in the grant of permission and not the construction of the building. The contempt will be completed, and the consequences of the contempt will flow, from the mere grant of approval.

4.3: Glass and metal

4.3.1: It is worth noting that the original Palace and the 1990 scheme had as common characteristics glass cladding, in keeping with their fundamental appearance as great conservatories. By way of contrast, the first 9 metres (30') of the proposed building will consist of face-packed grey granite gabion with stainless steel mesh, an entirely impenetrable facade. Gabion is taken to mean wire-packed boulders. The actual appearance of this is not apparent from the elevations. More importantly, for present purposes, the roof is made of concrete tiles.

4.3.2: The main facade walls are each 20 metres high, and the roof is 80 metres wide. Thus, even if the walls were entirely made of glass and metal, the undertaking would not be satisfied: the building would still be 66% concrete.

4.3.3: However, the walls are not entirely glass and metal. On each main facade the first 9 metres are principally of stone. In fact, only one quarter of the entire height of the building is of glass. In this regard (amongst many others), this building is wholly distinct from original Crystal Palace, which was so termed because it looked like a Palace made of Crystal.

4.3.4: It is beyond dispute that there is not a predominance of glass and metal in this building, and consequently the act of granting planning permission will involve a contempt of Parliament.

4.4: Spirit

4.4.1: The Chief Planning Officer, in his report of 24th March 1998, advised Members that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of "spirit" was "the prevailing tone of a particular period or time."

4.4.2: Nobody could suggest that this building captures the prevailing tone of the mid-19th century. Indeed, this modern building is designed not to capture that tone, but to capture what the architect would term the essence of modernity. By that definition, therefore, the test is failed.

4.4.3: During the Select Committee proceedings, the Chairman stated:

"I hope that as lay people we understand what that (spirit) means, the traditions of Crystal Palace, its ability to have acted as a community focus ... a place where education can meet industry, commerce can meet the arts etc. We value that very highly..."

4.4.4: The outline planning permission does not specify the use to which the building should be put, other than for leisure in its broadest sense. Should the developer wish to turn the whole building into a rock venue, a casino, a bingo hall, a bowling alley, or video or amusement arcades, then as the outline planning permission stands the planning authority has no power to prevent this.

4.4.5: There is no meaningful sense in which it could be said that any controls written in to the permission thus far require this to be a place where "education meets industry" or "commerce meets the arts." There would, for example, be nothing educational about a casino or a bingo hall, nothing concerning the arts in a bowling alley. The attitude of Bromley Council, frequently expressed, is that the market will decide what goes in the building, and it is not for the Council to constrict the developer economically.

4.4.6: Therefore, to grant permission without writing in further controls genuinely to reflect the cultural importance of the original Palace, and to make that cultural importance the driving force of the building, will involve the Council in a further contempt of Parliament.

4.4.7: There are now competing cinema proposals in Croydon (Grant Department Store), East Croydon (Station), Beckenham (ABC), Bromley South (station), Streatham (ABC). All of these town centre sites accord with the sequential approach to site selection which is the policy of this, and the last, Government. It may well be that the developer will therefore welcome the lead given by the Council should it require a less consciously commercial, and more cultural, element.

4.4.8: Finally, at one stage the architect claimed that water features running down metal on the park side of the building would be reminiscent of the glass of the original building. However, the water features are now reduced to small areas of the building, and this argument, if ever tenable, does not now run.

4.4.9: The building does not reflect the spirit of the original Crystal Palace in appearance or in tone, and the Council will be aware that the community sees the building as a focus only of collective unhappiness.

4.4.10: Consequently, a grant of approval to this building will involve the Council in a further contempt of Parliament.
Top of section; Top of page


5.1: The site plan, AP SI 0200, shows the top site together with further land extending to the south and east of the top site towards Anerley Hill.

5.2; However, the outline planning application plan included only the top site itself and did not include any land to the south and east towards, and debouching onto, Anerley Hill.

5.3: The Campaign's researches have suggested that on 19th October 1997, the developer submitted a new red line plan, showing the further land to the south and east. However, this was 7 months after the planning application had been submitted to the Council, and 3 months after the Committee made its "minded to grant" resolution.

5.4: The Campaign is not aware that site notices showing the amended plan were placed on Anerley Hill, or that the amendments were advertised properly or at all. However, the amendments directly affect the residents of Anerley Hill and the streets leading from the Hill.

5.5: Furthermore, and in any event, the planning permission itself is explicit that the development which received planning permission was that the subject of the application received on 4th April 1997. There is nothing in the permission which refers to any amendment of the application. Therefore, the only land the subject of the outline planning permission is the top site itself.

5.6: For these reasons, the further land may not be included in the application for approval of reserved matters. Any approval of the application would therefore be ultra vires the Council and unlawful.

5.7: If an application is made for the road and tunnel on the further land, the Crystal Palace Campaign would expect to be consulted upon it, since there are a number of representations we would wish to make. Since, however, there is no valid application for such works, we reserve our position.

5.8: Should the Council have a different view as to its right to determine the application in its current form, it is requested to set out its position in detail now, so that the matter may be considered by the Campaign and its advisers.
Top of section; Top of page


6.1: The Crystal Palace ridge is one of two major skyline ridges defined in the Unitary Development Plan. It is part of a tree-lined ridge which links with the Great North Wood and runs, in visual terms, from Crystal Palace into Dulwich. It is no exaggeration to term it the most pleasing topographical feature in South London, being a crucial green visual break in the urban fabric of this part of the capital. It is visible extensively within South London, and even from certain points within North London.

6.2: The view of the ridge is protected by policies E10 and E11 of the Unitary Development Plan.

6.3: Great care should be taken to ensure that the proposed building does not harm views of the tree-lined ridge. The Crystal Palace Campaign has no indication that any advice has been taken from a landscape architect as to the effect of the proposed building on the ridge. Given the impact of this building over an exceptionally wide area, this is an omission which requires to be rectified before the grant of detailed approval is considered.

6.4: Appendix 3 shows the view of the ridge from the edge of Norwood Park. There are hundreds of similar, and many better, views within South London. The view of the building for local residents, from their homes, gardens, streets and parks, will be of 70' high vehicle ramps, an 850 feet long blue lighting strip, protruding above the tree line, above it a stainless steel safety barrier, above that lift shafts, above that stainless steel boxes housing plant. Whatever the architectural merits of this building may be when viewed from the park, for tens of thousands of people the view of this building will be that of the services for a rooftop car park. The impacts will occur both day and night, and will be serious.

6.5: This aspect has received apparently no real consideration hitherto in the planning process. But of all impacts this building will involve, its visual impact on the extensive residential settlements to the north, west and south is one of the most important.

6.6: The Crystal Palace Campaign respectfully submits that the detailed designs for the building ought to be rejected as having a deleterious impact on the views of the tree-lined ridge, which is a strategic skyline view protected by the Unitary Development Plan.
Top of section; Top of page


7.1: Introduction
7.1.1: A series of errors were made in relation to traffic at the outline planning stage, all of which affect the impact this building will have on the park and the surrounding areas.

7.1.2: On 24th March 1998, when the outline planning application was being considered, the Chief Planning Officer inadvertently misled the Development Control Committee, both orally and in writing, that the developer's traffic impact assessment as to parking had been carried out on the basis that 65% of visitors would arrive by car, when in fact the developer had assumed that only 50% would arrive by car. He admitted this error in the judicial review proceedings.

7.1.3: The error was compounded, in that the Chief Planner also advised the Committee that at the nearest comparable multiplex, Park Royal, the figure was 78%. However, the Campaign has over a period of months pressed the Borough's officers for the true figure for Park Royal. The Head of Heritage and Urban Design has recently informed us that on Saturday nights the true figure is 90%. This is nearly double the figure of 50% used by the developer in its traffic impact assessment. At the time of granting permission, the Committee knew neither of the 90% nor the 50% figure. It is entitled to ask itself why not.

7.1.4: The Chief Planning Officer also inadvertently misled the Committee by stating orally on 24th March 1998 that he believed that the total number of people visiting the building would be 4,000. In fact, that is fewer even than the number of seats proposed in the cinemas, which in turn occupy only 40% of the commercial floorspace in the building.

7.1.5: The Chief Planning Officer also omitted to advise Members of the application of the parking standards in the Unitary Development Plan. Members are entitled to ask themselves why. Appendix V.2.1 of the UDP requires that when there are a number of separate units, the requirement for each unit should be assessed separately. The calculation shows a requirement of 2,556 spaces for a 4,800 seat development (see appendix 4). Members were apparently unaware of this. They were also unaware of the calculation based on the then-proposed 4,100 seats, which yields a requirement for 2,381 car parking spaces.

7.1.6: The Borough's explanation of this has been that 4,100 cinema seats produces 1,025 car parking spaces on the standard of one space per four cinema seats; and the reduction from that to 950 is justified as part of the Government policy to reduce car parking. However, that assumes that the 13,500 sq. metres (150,000 square feet) of net non-cinema leisure floor space will produce not one single extra car, and that no-one visiting the cinemas will spend any extra time in the development visiting the other facilities. It is simply common sense that more parking will be needed if one adds 9 large restaurants and 3 large leisure boxes to the development than if one does not.

7.1.7: The final important error is that the developer's consultants calculated impact on the basis that the non-cinema floorspace was the same at Crystal Palace as that at Park Royal, when in fact it is 75% greater.

7.1.8: The detailed planning stage represents the Council's last proper chance to ensure that the result of the above errors is not traffic gridlock and serious parking, pollution and noise problems for the surrounding areas.

7.1.9: The conditions imposed must be such as ensure that visitors are genuinely discouraged from using their cars to drive to this development, and that the total cars generated at any one time do not exceed the 950 car parking spaces provided.

7.1.10: This is of crucial importance for the park, which is a Conservation Area, a Grade 2* Listed Park, and also Metropolitan Open Land, which is supposed to have the same protection as Green Belt. Therefore, the Campaign dissociates itself from the Chief Planning Officer's remarks at the planning meeting of 24th March 1998, when he stated that if there were a parking problem "there is tons of space in the park." The park should not be permitted to become an overflow car park.

7.1.11: Furthermore, the Borough's Head of Heritage and Urban Design has confirmed that no measures would be taken to dissuade the multiplex-users from using the other parking facilities in the park, so there is no doubt but that the park will in fact become an overflow car park for the multiplex.


7.2: The true figures
7.2.1: A true measure of traffic generation depends on the nature and intensity of the uses within the building. Originally, the developer proposed 4,800 car parking spaces. At the outline planning stage it reduced its requirement to 4,100 spaces, and the Council fought the Campaign's judicial review on the basis that 4,100 was the true number. Furthermore, the Head of Heritage and Urban Design has confirmed to the Campaign in writing that this was the number against which the outline application was assessed.

7.2.2: The developer has now sought a condition limiting the number to 4,800. It is hoped that a limit of 4,100 will be imposed, so as to accord with the basis of the Council's assessment of the outline scheme.

7.2.3: However, for present purposes, 4,800 seats is taken as a measure.

7.2.4: Caution also needs to be exercised in that there is no restriction as to uses in the remainder of the building. The traffic implications of a health club would be different from those of a rock venue, yet each is permitted by the outline scheme. Again, the Council is urged to impose conditions limiting numbers so far as possible.

7.2.5: It is against the above uncertainties that the following assessment occurs. There are three ways of assessing natural generation, by reference a) to the UDP b) the developer's traffic impact assessment and c) the overall numbers of visitors.


7.3: UDP
7.3.1: The generation against the UDP standards produces 2,556 spaces (see above). This is 269% of the number to be provided. Put another way, 63% of the 2,556 who would otherwise come by car need to be dissuaded from doing so in order to avoid overspill car parking.


7.4: Traffic impact assessment
7.4.1: The starting point is that Crystal Palace is 80% bigger than Park Royal but will have 20% fewer car parking spaces. This strongly suggests that a series of assumptions have been made about Crystal Palace which are incapable of justification.

7.4.2: The developer assessed parking impact on the basis of a 50% modal split. However, 65% car-borne visitation has been accepted by the Chief Planning Officer (see report of 24th March 1998), Head of Heritage and Urban Design (see letter to Campaign of 24th June 1998) and the Council's Environmental Services Department (see Crystal Palace SRB - Transport Briefing). This produces an immediate shortfall in parking provision.

7.4.3: It is believed that a 50% modal split has not been replicated in any other non-town centre multiplex. At Park Royal, where there are three underground and railway stations within 1,000 metres of the site, the car-borne proportion is 90% on Saturday evenings. This is thought to be a truer measure of the likely split. The Council has taken a modal split of 65% at Crystal Palace, but the comparator used by the Council, Alexandra Palace is a) not a multiplex, b) consists of daytime exhibition use, and c) is visited by a high proportion of long-distance coach-borne passengers.

7.4.4: The only basis proffered thus far for taking 65% rather than 90% is the proximity of the proposed bus station, the stations and the intention to have controlled parking zones. But there is no evidence to suggest that the few night buses which serve this area at night will produce any substantial modal shift. The rail connections are certainly no better than at Park Royal and terminate long before the development closes for the night, and the walk from all stations is a steep uphill journey. The presence of a substantial, highly prominent, rooftop car park will ensure that car-borne travel remains the most attractive mode at this site. Further, the location of overspill car parking in the park itself is likely to augment, rather than reduce, car borne visitation.

7.4.5: For Park Royal, the developer took a 78% split to represent, presumably, an average throughout Saturday evenings. In the light of the above, the Campaign adopts a similar split here. But for the sake of completeness the calculations also show the result of applying a 65% split.

7.4.6: The developer has further assumed that the non-cinema parts of the development are the same size at Park Royal and here. But the gross non-cinema floorspace there is 9,750 sq. metres. At the proposed building it is 17,550 sq. metres, including the proposed mezzanine. Thus, the traffic visiting the non-cinema elements has been severely underestimated by the developer.

7.4.7: The developer further assumed that Park Royal was 100% full at the time of its survey when Crystal Palace will be only 85% full. The proffered justification is that Park Royal is well-attended, and was showing blockbuster films. The developer obviously intends that Crystal Palace will be as popular. The assumption should be that they will attain the same occupancy.

7.4.8: Finally, the developer did not count parking overspill in surrounding streets, which given that the car park at Park Royal was full at peak hours suggests that there was significant under-counting at Park Royal. However, since the amount of overspill is unknown, no account has been taken of it in the following figures, which should therefore be treated as an underestimate.

7.4.9: A detailed calculation is provided at appendix 4. The effect is that, based on 4,800 cinema seats and a 78% modal split, the natural generation is 2,271 cars at peak hours on Saturday evenings. This is 239% of the car parking to be provided. If a 65% split is taken, the natural generation is 1,892 cars, 199% of the car parking to be provided.


7.5: Visitation
7.5.1: Park Royal has a capacity of approximately 3,500 people in its non-cinema areas and 2,500 in its cinemas, total 6,000 people.

7.5.2: Crystal Palace is approximately 80% bigger than Park Royal, which suggests a capacity of approximately 10,800 people.

7.5.3: Assuming at peak hours that it is no more than 85% full, this produces visitation of 9,180 people. If 78% of those come by car, that produces 7,160 car borne visitors. If there are 2 people to each car, that suggests 3,580 cars, 376% of the 950 spaces to be provided.


7.6: Conclusion as to car generation
7.6.1: The above calculations suggest that the natural car generation is between 2,271 and 3,580 cars. The gross disparities produced by the different methods of calculation suggests a lack of rigour in the research hitherto, together with uncertainties produced by the substantial variables in the calculations. One such is the failure to account for overspill car parking at Park Royal, mentioned in paragraph 7.4.8 above.

7.6.2: What is clear is that the number of cars likely to visit this development far exceeds the number of car parking spaces. To give some idea of the problem confronting the area, the re-worked figures from the traffic impact assessment suggest that to achieve a generation of only 950 cars would require a modal split of just 33%, i.e. only 33% of visitors arriving by car. Given that the nearest comparable development, Park Royal, has a modal split of 90% at peak hours, it will be appreciated that the size of the task facing the planning authority is extremely substantial, and stringent measures are needed to achieve it, in order to avoid extremely serious environmental problems.

7.6.3: It is not merely a question of the number of car parking spaces occupied at any one time, but overall cars entering the site of this historic park. The above calculations suggest that the number of cars is 189% of the number visiting Park Royal, i.e. 2,271 as against 1,200 at peak hour on a Saturday. Translating this into overall car borne entry to the site produces a total number of car journeys of 16,733 within the Park every Saturday, created by this development (see calculation at Appendix 4). This is a figure which requires to be radically reduced to avoid the most serious environmental consequences for the Park and its users.

7.6.4: Furthermore, the WS Atkins work for the Council is based on very low visitation data. For example, it predicted total visitation to the multiplex to be 5,000 per day. But the cinemas alone are intended to hold 4,800 people and will have at least four shows per day, and the cinemas occupy only about 40% of the net floorspace. Furthermore, WS Atkins predicted two way traffic generated by all the developments in the Park (i.e. including the sports centre) as being 1,349 on Saturdays between 9 and 10 p.m. The Campaign predicts 1,838 car journeys within the Park alone during that hour solely as a result of the development (based on 189% of the figures for Park Royal given in Table 4.2 of the TIA). The base assumptions for the WS Atkins work have never been fully disclosed by the Council, but the disparities are such as to raise concerns as to the accuracy of the traffic impact work overall.

7.6.5: It is thought likely that WS Atkins simply accepted the developers' consultants' work at face value, when, for the reasons given above, a strict appraisal of the latter's work was called for. This merely underlines the necessity for a draconian approach to be taken to the discouragement of car-borne travel to this development.


7.7: Recommended conditions

7.7.1: The size of the building should be limited. It already appears to be well over the 53,200 square metres gross floorspace applied for. The gross floorspace appears to be approximately 57,960 square metres, including an 800 square metre mezzanine area. It should be limited to 53,200 square metres gross. The addition of the mezzanine floor in the southerly leisure area exacerbates the problem and should be rejected.

Number of seats

7.7.2: The number of cinema seats should be confined to the 4,100 specified by the developer at the time when the outline planning permission was granted, and which was the number subsequently relied upon by the Council in the Court of Appeal. Should a different number now be accepted, the basis of the Court of Appeal's judgement will require to be revisited.

Nature of uses

7. 7.3: The developer has agreed, and it is a condition of the planning permission, that there should be no nightclub in the premises. In addition, there should be no other auditoria. This will preclude the high concentration of visitors associated with, for example, a rock venue.

7.7.4: For similar reasons, there should be a condition precluding public houses on the premises. In any event, such units would compete with the public house trade in the Triangle, when the A3 uses in the development are meant, according to the developer's planning statement, to be complementary to, rather than competitive with, the neighbouring commercial uses.

Community floorspace

7.7.5: In order to ensure as high a level of walk-in visitation as possible, one of the leisure boxes should be reserved for community floorspace, for community events, workshops, lectures etc. This will assist the Council to comply with the undertaking in the Crystal Palace Act 1990 regarding spirit, as well as providing a proper area for the provision of exhibition space on the history of the Palace and the Park, to comply with further undertakings given to Parliament at the time of passage of the Crystal Palace Act 1990.

Overall capacities

7.7.6: Overall capacities for each area of the building should be specified, so as to avoid high concentrations of use with concomitant traffic impact.


7.7.7: Advertising for the building should be discreet, and befitting a building set in an historic park, and abutting a conservation area. There should be no illuminated signage, and none visible above the tree-line to the west, north-west and south-west. The "advertising totems" suggested by the developer are totally unacceptable.

Parking location

7.7.8: To reduce the sheer prominence, and therefore draw, of the car parking, it should be placed underground. The Campaign agrees with the editor of the Estates Gazette, who described the rooftop car park as a "simply dreadful idea." Removal of the flat rooftop car park, the ramps and associated paraphernalia would in fact give the architect more aesthetic scope than his brief has so far permitted him. It may also allow for a glass roof, so permitting a building to be built in accordance with the Council's Parliamentary undertaking. The only argument against underground parking is expense, but in the context of a scheme of this size, cost and environmental sensitivity, this is of little weight. In any event, the question of cost is of low significance in planning terms.

Anerley Hill entrance

7.7.9: Underground car parking might obviate the need for the Anerley Hill entrance which is wholly unsatisfactory in Conservation Area and Metropolitan Open Land terms. It is hard to conceive of a more intrusive and urbanising use of the perimeter of the park than to drive a major junction and tunnel entrance through it, next to a museum which is a centrally important feature within the park.

Parking charges

7.7.10: The developer should be required to charge for the car park, as charges are made at, for example, the underground car park at the Royal National Theatre and the Barbican. This is likely to be the main deterrent to car borne visitation, and given the absolute imperative of effecting modal shift in this case, it is of paramount importance. The charges raised may be used by way of planning gain for the maintenance of the Park.

Parking audit

7.7.11: The developer should be required, prior to grant of planning permission, to carry out a full audit of parking in the residential areas around the park, so as to give a true picture of the extent of the likely parking problems and so as to suggest proper solutions. This has been a requirement of the Council in Bromley itself, and should be a requirement here.

Controlled parking

7.7.12: It should be a condition of the planning approval that the developer finances and maintains Controlled Parking Zones in the areas likely to be affected. No time limit should be placed on this. The developer may apply to vary the condition if and when it can prove that such Zones are no longer required as a result of the development.

7.7.13: The entire perimeter of the park will require to be red-routed or at least double yellow lined. The developer should be required to pay for the works.

Traffic calming

7.7.14: There will need to be traffic calming on all the residential approach roads leading to the site. There appears to have been very little analysis of junctions other than those immediately surrounding the site. If any require upgrading as a result of the development, then such should be a condition (in Grampian form) of the approval. All roadworks should be funded by the developer. There is a matter of particular note, that the Council's consultants WS Atkins advised that College Road would take the same proportion of traffic as all other roads approaching this site. But College Road is a toll road, and clearly will be less affected than other surrounding roads, which will have to accept traffic displaced from College Road. As it is, the traffic data suggests that Fountain Drive will suffer a 260% increase in traffic at peak hours. If a 90% modal split is taken, the effect becomes much worse. There is clearly further work to be done as to the genuine effects, and conditions should be determined as a result of such further work.

Shuttle services

7.7.15: The Council has claimed to the Campaign that 5 stations serve this site (see letter from Head of Heritage and Urban Design dated 24th June 1998). While the Campaign believes this to be a serious overestimate of the position, it is prepared to accept the claim at face value for present purposes. The walking distances are, respectively, 0.4 miles (Crystal Palace), 0.7 miles (Gipsy Hill), 0.9 miles (Sydenham Hill), 1 mile (Anerley), 1.2 miles (Penge West). All involve uphill walks. The developer should be required to maintain shuttle services (4 per hour) to and from each of those stations while the trains are running, so as to encourage train travel to the site.


7.7.16: The plans, surprisingly, omit provision for coach parking. If there is to be a radical modal shift, it is important that visitors may choose to arrive by coach. The underground car park should provide for coach parking. It would be unacceptable to have coaches standing within the site itself, or within neighbouring areas.

Overflow parking in the Park

7.7.17: It should be a condition that no overflow car parking for the development should occur in the park and any permission for occasional user arising under the General Development Order should be excluded. The Campaign is disturbed by a letter dated 25th February 1999 from the Head of Heritage and Urban Design stating that the Council does not intend to prevent those parking within the park visiting the leisure development. In fact, the car parking areas serving the remainder of the park could and should be shut during evening hours to prevent precisely this happening.

7.7.18: Further, the Campaign is seriously disturbed by the proposed planting of toughened grass on the terraces. The Council is referred to the Supporting Information to the park applications, dated December 1998. Section 2 states:

"Middle: this wide terrace is as a performance, activity and play area. The grass will be reinforced to withstand various uses and to serve as an occasional parking site for large events."

The expression "occasional" is regrettably elastic.

7.7.19: The Council's traffic consultants WS Atkins anticipated in their July 1997 update that the multiplex would occasionally generate the need for parking off-site. They stated that overflow could be accommodated on the reservoir site. However, there is no application to that effect. They went on to state that for large events the terraces would also be used as a car park.

7.7.20: On 24th March 1998, when the outline planning application for the multiplex came before Members, the Chief Planning Officer was pressed as to whether there was adequate provision for parking. He stated that if there was not, then there is "tons of space in the park". Since the park is Metropolitan Open Land, a Conservation Area and a Grade 2* Listed Park, the Campaign views that remark with misgiving, and believes that strident measures need to be taken to ensure that the park is not seen as a general parking overflow for a miscellany of commercial activities. It is an even graver matter if the proposed overflow is on listed structures at the head of the park.

7.7.21: The Campaign does not accept that there are any circumstances in which the most open, striking, attractive and historically valuable part of the park should be handed over to car parking. It certainly does not accept that this could ever be justifiable so as to accommodate a multiplex development deeply opposed by park users.

7.7.22: The Campaign fears that we shall see a creeping commercialisation and urbanisation of this park, commencing with the occasional user of the middle terrace crystallising into a more frequent and formalised user once its fears as to traffic generation are realised.

7.7.23: The Campaign Chairman has spoken to English Heritage's Malcolm Woods about this matter, who was adamant that in no circumstances would he be prepared to contemplate the terracing being used for car parking. Yet this appears to be precisely what is proposed.

7.7.24: In order to allay these fears, the Council is requested to make it a clear planning condition that overflow parking is prohibited in the Park. The Council is also requested to prohibit the planting of toughened grass on the terraces so as to lend credence to its refusal to contemplate the further urbanisation of the Park.
Top of section; Top of page


8.1: Crystal Palace Act 1990
8.1.1: Section 3(1) of the Act permits a lease for the purpose of
"an hotel, restaurant, shops, licensed premises, leisure facilities, entertainment facilities or other associated uses..."

8.1.2: It will be noted that the permission is for an hotel (singular), restaurant (singular) and shops (plural).

8.1.3: The general rule as to statutory construction is that the singular includes the plural and vice versa, unless the context indicates otherwise (see Interpretation Act 1978). Here, the context indicates otherwise because the legislature has been careful to specify singular and plural in respect of different elements of the overall building.

8.1.4: Moreover, this being a private Act of Parliament, the provisions are to be construed strictly against the promoter. The promoter is not permitted any latitude not specifically given by the terms of the statute.

8.1.5: Hence, the provision of more than one restaurant on this site is unlawful. The developer's plans, which show a number of restaurants, must accordingly be rejected.

8.2: A3 uses

8.2.1: Although it is unlawful to provide more than one restaurant, for the sake of completeness, the Campaign comments on the planning disadvantage of multiple restaurant units in the development.

8.2.2: The developers' planning statement suggested (para 9.10) that the A3 uses would complement those existing in the Upper Norwood Triangle. The Chief Planner's report to Committee of 24th March 1998 highlighted the complementary nature of the development's units as a reason why there would be no deleterious impact.

8.2.3: This is a matter of great importance, since the economy of the Crystal Palace area is underpinned by its night-time refreshment uses. It is of importance that refreshments at the development are genuinely complementary to, and not competitive with, the Triangle.

8.2.4: The developer's assessment makes a numerical comparison between the number of restaurants in the development and the number in the Triangle. However, that is a false basis of comparison. The total floorspace occupied by the restaurants in the development is of the order of 5,800 square metres. This probably exceeds the floorspace of all the restaurants in the Triangle put together. Coupled with the fact that car parking in the Triangle is poor, and car parking will be available on the roof of the restaurants in the development, the new restaurants have the potential to undermine or even destroy the economy of the Triangle. This requires to be carefully controlled by condition.
Top of section: Top of page


9.1: Regulation 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988 prevents a planning authority granting planning permission for what is known as a Schedule 2 application, which would be likely to have "significant effects on the environment" by virtue of factors such as nature, size or location. This application is a schedule 2 application.

9.2: The Secretary of State for the Environment has published indicative thresholds as to when significant effects may occur (Circular 15/88). One such threshold is when there will be 10,000 square metres gross of commercial uses. Here, there will be over 50,000 square metres of such uses. I.e. the threshold is exceeded by a factor of five. The two other threshold criteria are a site area of over 5 hectares in an urbanised area and more than 700 dwellings within 200 metres of the site boundaries: each is satisfied.

9.3: In addition, the development is in an historic listed park, Metropolitan Open Land and abutting a conservation area. The development involves loss of 150 trees and 12 acres of open space in an area considered to be deficient in open space since before Bromley acquired this land. Key effects not properly considered before are the creation of 16,000 car journeys in the park itself each Saturday and the dramatic effect on the strategically important skyline views.

9.4: Furthermore, one of the substantial benefits of environmental assessment is the requirement for a non-technical summary of the environmental statement. It is clear that not only did the community not understand the complex traffic impact assessment work, but nor did the Chief Planning Officer of the Council. It is integral to democratic participation and consultation in a project of this importance that all are enabled to understand the environmental effects as a result of a discernibly independent study and to comment on the same. This has not occurred.

9.5: It is absolutely plain that this is a development which, in terms of nature, size and location, ought to be the subject of environmental assessment. The fact that it was, wrongly, not subjected to environmental assessment at the outline stage does not obviate the requirement for such assessment at the detailed stage.

9.6: Furthermore, Council Directive 85/337/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment requires environmental assessment on authorities which initiate projects as well as on those who grant authorisation for projects. The Directive has direct effect in the UK.[2] The requirement for environmental assessment therefore binds the Council not only as planning authority but also as landowner in its proposal to lease the site to the developer to enable construction to occur.

9.7: Therefore, for outline permission to be granted without environmental assessment would be unlawful as a matter of domestic and European law, and the grant of a lease would be unlawful as a matter of European law. The breach of European law would render the Council susceptible to proceedings for infringement in the European Court of Justice.

9.8: The Council is therefore requested to order that there be a proper environmental assessment at this stage, so that the environmental consequences of this proposed development may be independently assessed, appraised and consulted upon.

9.9: That assessment will need to take account of the fact that the developer has still not disclosed the proposed content of the proposed building, so that it will need to be prepared on the basis of worst-case assumptions.
Top of section; Top of page

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Appendix 1 - Illustrations

021: The Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill.

034: The proposed new building - view from the Parade.

[not included here]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Top of page

Appendix 2 - Transcripts of Letters

Letters from....

037: Letter from Graham Allen MP Nottingham North
038: Letter from Ian Bruce MP South Dorset
039: Letter from John Hughes (former MP)
040: Letter from Kenneth Hargreaves
043, 044 & 045: Letter from Mr Richard Stein
046, 047 & 048: Letter from Professor John McKean


037: Letter from Graham Allen MP Nottingham North

Labour MP for Nottingham North

Nottingham 0115 979 0971

6 November 1997

Melvyn Harrison
58 Laurier Road
Surrey CRO 6JQ

Dear Mr Harrison

Thank you for your letter of the 1 November 1997 regarding the Crystal Palace Bill Select Committee.

I am not at liberty to comment officially, however my personal view, from memory, is that the Parliamentary Committee made it very clear that the design should respect the site's history. The proposed design at first sight appears to owe more to a greyhound stadium grandstand than the original Crystal Palace. The Committees comments are all on the record and I suggest you draw upon them if they assist your case.

Yours sincerely


Graham Allen

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index

038: Letter from Ian Bruce MP South Dorset


Mr Melvyn Harrison
58 Laurier Road
Surrey CRO 6JQ

24 November 1997

Dear Mr Harrison

Thank you for your letter of l2 November and I am sorry that I have not really had chance to pore over your extracts or any of the original documents we looked at some seven years ago.

However, I very much remember the original drawing you sent me and I can say without a shadow of doubt that the Committee would not then have described the new proposed design as meeting the criteria we specifically wrote in to Paragraph 4 of the Act.

I think anybody looking at the original proposed design would see how reminiscent it was of the original Crystal Palace and that the new design couldn't possibly remind anybody of anything other than a poor example of a football stadium stand. For that new design to go ahead, there would in my view need to be a new Act of Parliament and, quite frankly, for anybody to propose that that should be built and saying it is in compliance with the Act is talking absolute nonsense.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index

039: Letter from John Hughes (former MP)

15 Stafford Close
Warwickshire CV12 9QX

November 1998

Dear Mr Harrison.

I was one of the four MPs who, in 1989, constituted the Crystal Palace Bill Select Committee. We were shown plans for a proposed building on the site which we believcd was clearly reminiscent of the original Crysta1 Palace. In order to ensure that any proposal for the site was appropriate the Committee, regardless of it's members political affiliation, unanimously endorsed an important requirement that any future development should reflect the architectural style of the original Crystal Palace. I recall that Bromley Council wanted to retain the word "spirit", but we felt that the word "spirit" would dilute the requirement for a building whlch visually resembled the Crystal Palace, and so we insisted that the word "style" be used in the Act.

I have scen illustrations for thc building now proposed for the site; it does not even vaguely resemble the original Palace. Had the current proposal been before us in 1989, it would have been dismissed as, being in no way reminiscent of the onginal Crysral Palace, it wou1d not have satisfied the criteria which we were building into the Act. I also believe that its construction would downgrade an important historic area.

I am happy for this letter to be placed before the court.

Yours sincerely,


John Hughes

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index

040: Letter from Kenneth Hargreaves


25th November 1998

Dear Mr. Harrison,

Thank you for your letter which eventually reached me. I am sorry that I have been so difficult to track down.

I have read all the correspondence which you sent to me with interest.

The Act which was passed in 1990 permitted sensitive development of the site (which we visited before making our decisions).

We decided, and as far as I can recall it was a unanimous decision, that any new building should reflect the architectural 'style' of the old Crystal Palace.

It now appears that the building proposed is being recommended because it reflects the 'spirit' of the old building and 'spirit' was a word we specifically rejected.

I do not wish to comment on the architectural merits of the proposed building, but it would be difficult to argue that it represents the "style" of the old building, which [was] what we insisted any new building should do.

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Hargreaves

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index

041 & 042: Letter from Kennith Hargreaves

Copy of the original - see above transcript.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

043, 044 & 045: Letter from Mr Richard Stein

15 Elder Street, London El 6BT
Telephone and fax: 0171 247 3128

Mr. Richard Stein
Leigh Day & Co
Priory House
25 St. John's Lane
London EClM 4LB

Fax 0171 253 4433
18th June 1998

Dear Mr. Stein,

You have aeked for an independent view as to whether the illustrative elevations copied at pages 308 and 309 in the trial bundle show a bullding which reflects the architectural style of the original Crystal Palace, which I take to mean that erected on the Crystal Palace site in 1854.1 confirm that I am independent of the parties to thls case, and offer an objective view. My qualifications and experlence are set out in a note which ls attached.

I have studied the illustrative elevations. I am familiar with the original Palace in any case, but have looked at the photographs provided. I have also considered the Grounds of Applicatlon, the architect's Executive Summary of Design (28th August 1996), a letter from English Heritage dated 19th September 1997, a letter from the Royal Fine Art Commission dated 2nd October 1997, and a letter from Thomas Ford & Partner dated 15th September 1997.

I am content with the dictionary definition of architectural style given in the Grounds of Application, as a "definite type of architecture, distlnguished by special characteristics of structure or ornamentation."

In some cases there would be room for debate as to whether one building reflected the architectural style of another. But here, I consider that it is simply absurd to suggest that this modern. concrete, steel and glass bullding reflects the architectural style of the original Crystal Palace.

The original building was endowed with ornament, an original and powerful colour scheme Provided bv Owen Jones. a lingering crytalline element of the Regency and, more obvious, the cathedral-like plan with tall knave flamked by transepts, barrel-vaults and lunettes. The new is not. There is no question of reflection of architectural style.

Quite apart from the distinguishing architectural features in one which are absent frorn the other, there is also the question of the look of the whole building. I consider thst the look of the building is an essential component of architectural style. As a matter of common sense, it cannot be said that the one resembles the other.

I believe that the bodies who have written on the matter have confused the question of whether the buildings are made of similar materials and are pioneering for their respective times with the question of their respective architectural styles. The fact that the proposed building is pioneering does not make it reflect the architectural style of the original Palace, even if some of the construction materials are the same. Otherwise, it would have to be said that all modern building of metal and glass with large internal volumes reflect the architectural style of the Crystal Palace. Self-evidently, this is not the case.

In conclusion, I have no doubt that the illustrative elevations do not show a building which reflects the architectural style of the original Palace. I do not regard the opposite view as seriously arguable.

Yours sincerely,


Dan Cruickshank.

Dsn Cruickshank BA is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture, University of Sheffield; author of London the Art of Georgian Buildings, of The National Trust and Irish Georgian Society Guide to Georgian Buildings of Britain and of Life in the Georgian City, and editor of the 20th edition of the Sir Bannister Fletcher History of World Architecture. He is a Council Member of the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group and of the Architectural Panel of the National Trust.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index

046, 047 & 048: Letter fromProfessor John McKean

University of Brighton,
Faculty of Arts and Architecture,
School of Architecture and Design, 26th November 1998
Mithras House
Lewes Road
Brighton BN2 4AT

Telephone 01273 600900
Fax 01273 642348

(to) Philip Kolvin
Crystal Palace Campaign
62 Whiteley Road
London SEl9 1JT

Dear Mr. Kolvin,

1 - My cornmission

1.1: You have asked me to write a report for Court proceedings relating to the proposal to construct a building on the site of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

1.2: I am independent of the parties to these proceedings, and am offering my independent, objective, views.

1.3: I have studied the architectural plans and the perspective drawing provided by Mr. Ian Ritchie and exhibited in the Core Bundle as placed before the Court of Appeal on 2nd September 1998. I have also studied his subsequently received affidavit, together with supporting exhibits. As background material, I have, also read the remainder of the Core Bundle.

1.4: You have asked me to consider whether the proposed building visually resembles the Crystal Palace as built at Sydenham. In this regard, you have also asked me to comment on Mr. Ritchie's affidavit.


2 - My qualifications and experience

2.1: I hold the qualifications BArch, MA, ARIAS, FRSA, MCSD.

2.2: I am a registered architect and also trained as an historian. I am Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton. I am also an elected member of CICA, the critics circle of the International Union of Architects.

2.3: I am widely published as an architectural historian, with particular reference to l9th and 20th century architecture. I have published a number of monographs on buildings and architects, including a study of the Crystal Palace (London, 1994). This is one of two books that have won prestigious Intemational Book Awards from the American Institute of Architects. I also wrote the l9th Century part of Outline of Westem Architecture (ed. Raebum, London, 1980).


3 - Visual resemblance

3.1: I must state that to suggest that the proposed scheme resembles the 1854 building would, in common sense, be absurd.

3.2: Its actual appearance would be quite different. It is considerably less prominent (its footprint, I am informed, being limited by statute) and in its uniformity it is far less articulated, lacking the prominent shaping given to the 1854 building by central and end cross-vaults.

3.3: Its section would be quite different: sloping walls under an opaque, flat roof would produce a quite different effect from vertical walls under tall, glass barrel vaults. The fact that the 1854 building was glass-clad, albeit only partly transparent, is a further important difference between the two buildings.

3.4: I have read the letter from Dan Cruickshank in the Core Bundle and agree that, as to the look of the whole buildings, they do not resemble one another.


4 - Mr. Ritchie's affidavit

4.1: Mr. Ritchie's argument is obviously not concerned with the question of visual resemblance. He specifically makes the point that buildings in the same architectural style can have very different forms (see for example paragraphs 22 and 25 of his affidavit).

4.2: He states that the essence of the style of the Crystal Palace was that there is a repetitive modular structure which is not clothed but expressed. He argues that, in both the 1854 building and in his proposal, style is defined by technology and its material processes.

4.3: Naturally, that does not mean that all buildings designed in that way will visually resemble each other overall, and Mr. Ritchie does not make such a case. For example, in paragraph 22 he states that the Palaces constructed in 1851 and 1854 had very different forms, but that this should not be confused with architectural style.

4.4: I think it self-evident that, if a test for style is taken that does not relate to visual resemblance, then two buildings built to the same style need not resemble each other. I do not read Mr. Ritchie's affidavit as saying anything different.

4.5: I also agree with Mr. Ritchie that the 1851 and 1854 Palaces were very different visually. There were very different visual intentions in arriving at their detailed forms, albeit there were clear similarities in components and mode of construction. For example, in Samuel Phillips' Crystal Palace: A Guide to the Palace & Park (my copy being published in 1854), it is stated that while "all the materials employed in the Exhibition [with exceptions which he names] have been used in the construction of the Crystal Palace" and "the general principle of construction is identical in the two buildings", nevertheless "the difference of general aspect between the present palace and its predecessor is visible at a glance." (pp 28, 29, 31).

4.6: I go along with the common sense of these observabons. As I read it, so would lan Ritchie.

5 - Conclusion

5.1: I conclude that to suggest a visual resemlblance between Mr. Ritchie's building and the 1854 Palace would be absurd.

5.2: So far as materials and construction methds are concerned, I can see in Mr. Ritchie's designs an engineering-led style. But to produce one engineering-led design is not to bring about a building which visually resembles another building built to an engineering-led design, albeit that they mat be classified together as "engineering-led". I do not believe that Mr.Ritchie does, or would, contest any of these propositions.

5.3: In writing the above conclusion, I do not answer the question of whether Parliament, in requiring a reflection of architectural style, intended to require visual resemblance, since I understand that is a matter for legal opinion.

Yours sincerely,


Professor John McKean

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Letters index Top of page

Appendix3 - Skyline

035: Photograph taken from the top of Whitely Road, London SE19 looking to the East. The profile of the rpoposed new building has been superimposed to scale.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Top of page

Appendix 4 - Traffic calculations


(1) Parking demand based on analysis of Park Royal


Park generation at Park Royal on Saturdays is 1,200 (see Frank Graham traffic impact assessment)

An average of 78% of those visiting Park Royal were car-borne. The figure will be similar at Crystal Palace.

The number of cinema seats at Park Royal is 2,500. At Crystal Palace it will be 4,800.

The non-cinema floorspace at Park Royal is 9,750 sq. metres gross, at Crystal Palace it is 17,550 sq. metres.

At both venues, 77.4% will have the cinemas as their primary destination.

The calculation of parking demand based on a 78% modal split at Crystal Palace is as follows:

1,200 x 78%/78% x [(4,800/2500 x 77.4%) + (22.6% x 17,550/9.750)] = 2,271.

The calculation of parking demand based on 65% modal split is as follows:

1,200 x 65%/78% x [(4,700/2500 x 77.4%) + (22.6% x 17,550/9,750)] = 1,892


(2) Application of UDP parking standards

The standards [3]:


1 space per 4 seats

Other assembly and leisure uses

1 space per 20 square metres

Food and drink premises

1 space per 6 square metres[4]

Application of standards

Cinemas: 4,800 seats x 1/4


Leisure uses: 7,600 sq. m. x 1/20


Restaurants: 5,856 sq.m. x 1/6





(3) Car-borne journeys in the park

The calculation of overall car-borne journeys in the Park caused by the development is based on Table 4.2 of the Frank Graham Traffic Impact Assessment:

2,271 / 1,200 x (4,583 + 4,259) = 16,733

Top of section; Top of page

------------------text of submission ends-----------------------------------


[1] - A very full analysis of this is contained in the third affidavit of Philip Kolvin in the judicial review proceedings.
[2] - See Dutch Dykes case [1997] Env. L.R. 265
[3] - Policy T15 and App. 5
[4] - Except in Bromley Town Centre and Bromley's District Centres

Last updated 24/4/99(covering letter added)