ANDREW PELLING reports on (yet another) consultation on the future of the much-loved but much-neglected Crystal Palace Park
Sometimes, politicians and public bodies can overdo consultations with the public, especially if their motivation is procrastination or the pretence of public involvement in public policy decisions.
There is yet another consultation taking place this week on possible spending on the long neglected Crystal Palace Park.
I took the 197 to the Penge entrance to the park yesterday. There, I viewed the second of three consultation day displays of proposals for possible improvements to bits of the park.
The presentations are being run by volunteers on behalf of the Mayor of London and Bromley Council. Another presentation takes place on Saturday (from 11am to 4pm) at the information centre near the Thicket Road entrance. It is possible, though, to take part in the consultation online. I would urge Inside Croydon’s loyal reader to take part.
The consultation is a good deal more sedate than the chaotic consultation which Arup felt obliged to stage earlier this year. The lack of any clear plans for a new Crystal Palace under the investment of the ZhongRong Group made Arup’s task very hard that day, as they dealt with an overwhelming number of concerned or curious residents.
It is notable that we have not had any further announcements or grandstanding from the park’s terraces this week about the £500million ZhongRong Palace proposal by Mayor Boris, the Prime Minister or the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, who is in this country on an official state and trade visit.
This suggests to me that the deal is going nowhere.
That’s a concern when the uncertain project is acting as a blight in dealing with the park’s long-term neglect. Snatching at the Chinese option was a sign of how the park’s needs have not been sustainably addressed and City Hall should recognise this China syndrome and drop the glass palace idea.
There is £2.4 million held in the Mayor’s kitty for Crystal Palace Park. In such a big and significant park, that is going to have a modest impact, but it’s a start. The choices for spend revolve around moving cars, improving disabled access, improving heritage items – such as the dinosaurs – or improving facilities like the concert bowl to increase activities in the park. There is more detail here.
What is clear in my mind is that it’s time for Boris to get off the pot and start spending the money.
- Assembly Member calls Chinese Palace plans a “fiasco”
- £500m Palace developers admit: we don’t know what it’ll do
- Public only get to peek in at the uncertain Palace plans
- Chinese government has role in £500m Crystal Palace scheme
Coming to Croydon
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- David Lean Cinema: Suzanne, June 19
- Fit 2 Learn seminar, June 20
- Airport House swing dance free event, June 21
- Park Hill School summer fair, June 21
- Classic Car Show at Purley Rotary Fields, June 22
- David Lean Cinema: Feet from Stardom, June 23
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- David Lean Cinema: The Lunchbox, June 26
- Warnings to the Curious, Spread Eagle Theatre, June 27
- Metamono Secrets of Nature, Upper Norwood, June 27
- St Peter’s Village Fayre, South Croydon, June 28
- South Norwood Allotments open day, June 28
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- Coast to Capital business briefing, July 4
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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