London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson should apologise to the people of Croydon and Crystal Palace for the failure of his vanity project in the popular public park, following the failure of his preferred Chinese developers ZhongRong Group to act within the period of their exclusivity agreement.
That’s the view of a local Green Party campaigner, Tom Chance, a week after the expiry of a deadline set by Bromley Council for ZhongRong to pay a £5 million deposit to maintain its preferred developer status, and a month after the expiration of an exclusivity deal which has left the Johnson-brokered scheme, negotiated with leading Conservative Party donors on behalf of the Chinese, dead in the water.
Chance describes the ZhongRong proposal to build a gigantic replica of the original Crystal Palace on the top site of the Grade II-listed park as a “ridiculous proposal”.
“Park users will be delighted to hear that this deal has finally fallen through,” said Chance, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, one of the constituencies which converge on Crystal Palace.
Bromley Council estimates the cost of dealing with the ZhongRong negotiations as at least £100,000, but locals and Crystal Palace Park have also lost out on a £4.5 million Lottery grant as a consequence of the uncertainty created by the London Mayor’s promoting of the ZhongRong scheme.
“I think the Mayor owes Crystal Palace an apology for keeping community groups out of the park for 16 months, and losing £4.5 million in lottery funding, while entertaining this ridiculous proposal,” Chance said yesterday.
“The GLA and Bromley council now need to get back to working with the local community to implement the masterplan, which recognises that the park is a green lung for the local community, an important sports venue for London and the south east, and an internationally important heritage site, not a building site.”
- How Inside Croydon was first to report the collapse of the Mayor of London’s scheme for Crystal Palace Park
- ZhongRong given another two weeks to save £500m deal
Read the Inside Croydon archive on the whole, “ridiculous” saga:
- Boris aides make a meal out of London Mayor’s Chinese giveaway
- Lord Coe’s company plans to bulldoze athletics stadium
- Assembly member calls Chinese Palace plans a ‘fiasco’
- City Hall documents confirm Palace schemes were linked
- Boris signals defeat on his Chinese giveaway at Crystal Palace
- Boris accused over ‘secret’ £500m Chinese giveaway
- Inside Croydon Events: for dates and links to what’s happening in and around Croydon, updated daily, click here
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