THE CONFLICT AND THE MEDIATION SCHEME IN A NUTSHELL
29 November 1999
What Bromley Wants
- An 18 screen multiplex cinema 950' long by 70' high.
- 9 eateries including fast food and takeaways.
- 3 'leisure boxes', contents to be decided by profit alone.
Bowling alley? Video arcades?
- Rooftop car parking for 950 cars.
- Giant vehicle ramps on 3 sides of building.
- Opening hours 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. 365 days a year.
- Concrete tunnel entrance and roads in park.
- Illuminated traffic signage.
- Roads expanded to increase capacity.
Why we object
- Loss of 12 acres of green open space, protected as
Metropolitan Open Land.
- Destruction of 200 trees.
- Vast unsightly building, the size of 2 football stadiums,
vehicle ramps, tunnel entrance and illuminated signage do not
belong in a park.
- Degradation of the historic site of the Crystal Palace,
protected as Grade 2* listed historic park.
- Noise, especially at night, with hundreds leaving at 2
- 17,000 vehicle movements each Saturday on narrow, Victorian
residential streets, causing congestion and pollution. Traffic is
the major cause of asthma in our children
- Crime. Major leisure venues attract it.
- Parking overflow. On-site provision is only 50% of what is
- Threat to local trade, leading to spiral of decline on the
village high street.
- Loss of village atmosphere. The surrounding area is a
What we would tolerate
The Campaign has stated that it would tolerate low-key,
environmentally sustainable development, provided that it meets three
- It must respect the history of the site. This was the site of
a national treasure, the Crystal Palace. It is not a proper site
for an overwhelming multiplex development with such a universally
- It must respect its parkland location. This building is at the
head of the most important park in south east London and will
destroy the peace and tranquility of the park
- It must respect the residential environs of the site. The site
is surrounded by residential areas. Local residents have a right
to expect that their park will remain, essentially, a park and not
a repository for a major, night-time commercial leisure concern,
attracting thousands of cars and visitors through our quiet
streets 365 days a year. The residents also have a right to be
The mediation process
The Campaign, working with community groups, is taking the
following steps to ensure the fullest possible community consultation
prior to, during and after the mediation process:
- We distributed 35,000 copies of our newsletter, inviting the
community's views on the future of the park.
- We are supplementing that with a poster campaign and this
- We have consulted 21 community groups, inviting them to
canvass the views of their own memberships.
- We have met 15 of those groups, and discussed the mediation
process with them.
- We have also invited councillors from the four adjoining
boroughs to meet us and put forward the views of their
constituents. Councillors from three of the boroughs took up the
- We are attempting to set up meetings with local business
- We hope to visit schools in the new year to seek the views of
- We are establishing a think tank, composed of representatives
of residents' groups, environmental groups, protest groups,
councillors, business and local residents, to support the
mediating team at the forthcoming mediation and to report back to
the other groups with whom the Campaign is consulting.
The mediation will be conducted through the Centre for Dispute
Resolution, the pre-eminent mediating body in the U.K.
The mediation will take place between the developer, London and
Regional Properties, and representatives of the Campaign. The latter
have been selected not for the volume of their voice but their
professional experience in negotiating in hostile, litigious,
After the first rounds of mediation and through the process
described above, we hope to have arrived at a provisional solution to
be placed before the community through further, extensive,
consultation, by newsletters, public meetings and, if possible,
There are three possible outcomes
- the community may accept the solution. In that case, the
Campaign, in its present form, will cease.
- the community may accept the solution subject to caveats. In
that case, the mediation will resume in order to iron out the
- the community may reject the solution outright. In that case,
the Campaign will go on.
We want to establish a stakeholders forum, to ensure full
community participation in the future of our beloved park on a
properly co-operative basis, involving all five boroughs.
This is new territory for the Campaign. If you believe we could
improve on this process, please let us
know and we will consider your concerns. We know that we can't
please everyone all of the time, but we shall do our best!
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29/11/99 Last updated 29/11/99
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