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CPCA loses High Court Case over Park Plan

June 15, 2012

The Crystal Palace Community Association (CPCA) has failed in its High Court bid to get plans to build on part of Crystal Palace park along with other matters overturned.

In a written judgement Mr Justice Keith has rejected all five grounds of challenge made by CPCA chairman John Payne and CPCA member Anthony Elliott over the decision by Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles to uphold approval of the plans by an inspector at a public inquiry

The proposals which the inspector was considering included proposals for two residential developments in the park close to the Rockhills and Sydenham Gates respectively.

In the introduction to his decision, Mr Justice Keith says many of the buildings in the park, including the National Sports Centre and the Italian Terraces, are widely known.

But the condition of the park is deteriorating. Both the park and several of the listed buildings within it are on the Heritage at Risk Register. That led the London Development Agency to come up with a strategy for the regeneration of the park to be carried out over a period of perhaps 20 years.

In due course, the LDA was granted a 125 year lease of the site of the National Sports Centre and grounds immediately surrounding it and of a farm in the park, together with an option to take a 125 year lease of the whole park, though the LDA never took up that option.

The LDAs proposals became known as the Masterplan, to be implemented in three phases at an estimated cost of £68m. It has the full support of Bromley council, who are the local planning authority; the Mayor of London; English Heritage; Natural England and the Garden History Society.

But there is principled opposition to the proposals from a number of groups, not least of which is the Crystal Palace  Community Association.

Their major concern is that the scheme for the regeneration of the park is grandiose and ambitious. The implementation of the LDAs proposals and the subsequent maintenance of the park are never likely to be sufficiently funded.

Those elements of the proposals which would enhance the park are therefore unlikely to be completed. But of particular relevance for the present case is the objectors anxiety about the form which some of the funding will take.

Much of the funding will come from public sources, but some of it will come from the residential development of parts of the park. Most of the park is designated as metropolitan open land, and one of the proposed developments will take place on it. Very special circumstances are necessary to outweigh the very strong presumption against development on such land.

Costs agreed at the original hearing if the application was dismissed, mean the claimants should only be ordered to pay the Secretary of States costs amounting to £2,500.00 inclusive of VAT, and that there should be no order relating to the LDAs costs.

If the claimants wish to apply for permission to appeal, their solicitors should notify my clerk of that within seven days of the handing down of this judgment, and I will consider that question without a hearing on the basis of such written representations as are made. However, any appellants notice will still have to be filed within 21 days of the handing down of this judgment.

To access the judgement in full go to and type in Crystal Palace Park under search results or page one of the Virtual Norwood thread High Court upholds £68m Crystal Palace Park redevelopment plans and go to comments made by DickP in his second post on page one which will give you the same link.

Related posts:

  1. Crystal Palace Park Public Inquiry
  2. Bromley Council respond to KICCs plans for religious services at Cinema site
  3. Get running in Crystal Palace Park!
  4. Major changes to Crystal Palace Park agreed
  5. Management Board planned for Crystal Palace Park

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