Park sell out goes ahead as Secretary of State gives OK for luxury housing on Crystal Palace Park
August 2010


Crystal Palace Park – Local Public Inquiry, 7th July - 8th September 2009.

Following a 6 week local public inquiry last year, and despite concerted opposition, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (the S of S) has endorsed the Inspector's report and is 'minded' to grant permission to the planning application for the LDA Masterplan. The S of S accepts that 'very special circumstances' exist to warrant the sale of public parkland for development of 180 luxury apartments in intrusive blocks of up to 5 storeys.

See (pdfs, open in new window):
Minded To letter
and
Inspector's Report

However he has recognised the shortcomings of the S106 legal agreements and has insisted that they be 'reformulated' to ensure "…that capital contribution arising from the housing development are used for Park improvement works". The S of S is allowing until 15 September for the LDA to renegotiate the Section 106 agreement to meet with his requirements. Accordingly his decision will now be issued on or before 6 October.

Crystal Palace Park – Local Public Inquiry Crystal Palace Park – Local Public Inquiry

The CPCA is concerned at the prejudicial nature of the Inspector's report which dismisses, out of hand, much of the CPCA's arguments and evidence, while praising that of those supporting all aspects of the Masterplan.

The Inspector's bias against the CPCA was evident from the pre-inquiry meeting, when he initially refused to have the hearing heard locally. He only reconsidered his decision when made aware by the CPCA of Bromley's disingenuous statement that no local venue was available when, in fact, they had already ascertained that the Salvation Army Hall was free for the period of the inquiry. The Inspector continued with his discrimination by refusing to allow the CPCA, and others, sufficient time to complete 'Proofs of Evidence' - necessary to ensure fairness of the inquiry process.

It is widely recognised that the Inspector's unequivocal approval of the sale of public parkland for private luxury housing, as a funding strategy for Park restoration, WILL set a precedent - one that commercial developers will be only too ready to exploit.

The CPCA is taking appropriate advice and considering its options.

Protesters outside the Crystal Palace Park Local Public Inquiry
Protesters outside the Public Inquiry, Summer 2009


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