(P.42) YOUR MP'S VIEWS - Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood
South London Press - Friday, 28 July 2000

readers will be aware of plans for a new building on the site of the old Crystal Palace:

There are widely held concerns about the plans in the community I represent.

The building is an unworthy successor to the original Crystal Palace. Its development will lead to more congestion and pollution in the already traffic-choked area and the intended uses for the building will not appeal to the wider community.

These concerns have now been fuelled by news [that] the developers have applied for 14 liquor licences within the new building. This makes clear the scale of what is proposed.

People are worried about an increase in crime - although steps are being taken to recruit 1100 additional police officers in London over the next two years and to raise salaries by £3,300.

Much of the increase in crime is related to alcohol and much of it involves young people. The development at Crystal Palace is clearly seeking to attract young people and encourage them to drink - with the inevitable impact on the local community.

Over a year ago I suggested a stakeholders forum to seek an alternative proposal for the site which could command the support of the local community. Last September there appeared to be a real prospect of progress when the developers agreed to such a forum that would meet "with a clean sheet of paper" and with no "commitment to particular uses or design". Sadly, there has been no real progress since.

The news of applications for 14 liquor licences will reinforce the view [that] the developers are simply not interested in the local community.

Time is short but it is not too late for the developers to work with the local community rather than against it.

I have opposed this building from the time of Bromley's first planning meeting in June 1997. Along with my colleague Val Shawcross, the GLA member for Lambeth and Southwark, I will also oppose the granting of the 14 liquor licences.

Tessa Jowell

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