What’s new in Crystal Palace?
This bulletin! Welcome to the first CPCA bulletin in this new easily read format. You may not have heard from us for a while, but this has not been due to inaction – quite the contrary! Our enthusiastic group of volunteers has been putting much time and effort into representing our members at the Public Inquiry into the LDA plan for the park (see overleaf), as well as covering many other issues. To make sure you are always informed of what is going on locally, we will keep you up to date with news, events and features in our new regular bulletin. For more in-depth coverage, we will continue to produce the familiar Newsletter, which is delivered free to members and is also available on the website. The Bulletin is available in printed form and on the CPCA website. When you join or renew your subscription, please indicate on the membership form enclosed whether
you would like to receive your Bulletin in hard copy or via an emailed link to the website. Also, we want to hear from you! Please send us your views – by letter, email or phone – so that we can be sure we truly represent your interests.
Thank you Suzanne
It is with much regret that we announce the resignation of our Hon Secretary, Suzanne Elkin, from the CPCA committee. Suzanne has worked tirelessly over the years on behalf of the Association, and her energy and commitment have played a major role in making the CPCA the force that it is today. Suzanne is to remain a member, and will continue to help out when and where she is able. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude and our very best wishes and thanks go to her. John Payne, Chair
Public Inquiry into the LDA plan for Crystal Palace Park The London Development Agency Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park was the subject of a local public inquiry, which took place from July to September 2009.
Objectors to the plan were the CPCA, Sport England, Joseph Paxton Society, Norwood Society, West Beckenham Residents Association and others. Supporting the application were the LDA, GLA, Bromley and English Heritage, all of whom were legally represented. The CPCA was represented by Robert McCracken QC working pro-bono, and Annabel Graham-Paul. James Strachan QC represented Sport England.
What is the Masterplan?
The LDA proposes to upgrade the National Sports Centre and redesign the Park, including building 180 luxury apartments, a ‘tree palace’ with a 500-space car park on the Park’s hilltop, excavated gardens with 60ft-high greenhouses on the Italian terraces, a tree-top walkway through the English Landscape Garden, a five-storey museum and various other buildings. 2
What were the main objections?
These were to the sale to developers of Grade II* registered protected parkland on the sites of the International Camping & Caravan Club, the One O’clock Club, St John’s Ambulance building and the Park Rangers’ maintenance building at Crystal Palace Park Road, and also to a proposed three-storey building for 300 Capel Manor students on the green area off Ledrington Road. All these proposals are for land within the Conservation Area. The sale of Crystal Palace Parkland for private housing, which could set a precedent for other national parks, would provide just £4 to £5 million toward the enormous £100 million projected cost of the Masterplan. The Camping Club lease prevents housing development before 2019, possibly extending even the 30-year timescale for completion of the LDA Masterplan.
Threat to wildlife
Other objections included the loss of hundreds of mature healthy trees, the threat to wildlife habitat including that of protected species, the loss of recreational facilities, and the covering over of the site of the famous Crystal Palace.
What is the CPCA's position?
The CPCA believes that with atmospheric pollution, higherdensity housing, rising numbers of asthma sufferers and increasing obesity levels, public parks are more vital to the health of the nation than ever before. While the CPCA supports the restoration of the Park, it considers the LDA proposed sale of parkland to be no more than asset stripping, which it will continue to oppose.
The LDA hold a lease for the NSC Major Developed Site but recently declined the option to complete a lease for the remainder of the Park. They state that they have “no immediate proposals to further invest in the park itself...”. During the Inquiry, the LDA referred to important cross-borough talks on the future ownership and governance of Crystal Palace Park, but a CPCA application under ‘Freedom of Information' for records of such meetings has been refused.
Outcome of the Inquiry
The Inquiry Inspector indicated that he would complete his report and recommendations to the Secretary of
The Inspector conducts a site visit in the Park
State for Communities and Local Government by about the first week of February 2010, with the Secretary of State likely to give his decision by 20 May 2010. However, in December 2009, the CPCA learnt that the Inspector was seriously ill, and that, "...he hereby gives notice that he has varied the timetable previously set and he will now issue his decision on or before 22nd July 2010.”
The next CPCA Newsletter will provide a full report on the Inquiry.
TELL US YOUR VIEWS!
WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS ON THIS AND OTHER ISSUES AFFECTING OUR AREA 3
Campaigning for Upper Norwood Joint Library
Our unique and cherished library on Westow Hill provides better value for money than any other Lambeth or Croydon library, yet the lack of sufficient funding from either council is threatening this precious resource. We need to continue campaigning for the funds it desperately needs to remain the heart and soul of the Crystal Palace community. Running up to the elections, the main political parties have openly rallied to the support of the Library with petitions, campaigns, declarations and complimentary words, but little by way of positive financial commitment. Progress on developing suitable funding is advancing, but controversial behind-doors meetings that exclude the library users and community participation have met strong resistance from the Upper Norwood Library Campaign. The Campaign balks at Croydon’s assertions of inefficiency and insists it is not only an ultra-efficient, but a highly effective service, too. To help keep your local library a focal point in the community, please join the Upper Norwood Library Campaign, and encourage your friends and neighbours to join, too. 4
Campaigners outside the Library
Membership forms and the current newsletter are available in the Library where you can join immediately, or contact: The Secretary, UNLC, 5 Becondale Road, London SE19 1QJ
A cinema for Crystal Palace?
Last year, the Gala Bingo Hall at 25 Church Road was sold to Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC). The art deco building was built in 1928 as a cinema, and a campaign to restore it to its original use sprang up. The Picture Palace Campaign believes that a cinema here would support the regeneration of the area and provide an amenity that everyone can enjoy. On 17 December Bromley Council’s Planning Sub-Committee rejected KICC’s planning application to change the usage of the building from ‘leisure’ to ‘church’. It is anticipated that KICC will appeal against this decision. See www.picture-palace.org
New rail service
Part of the new overground East London Line Extension looks set to start operating in spring this year from Crystal Palace and West Croydon Stations, via New Cross Gate to Dalston Junction. In 2011/12 it is planned to run through to Highbury & Islington.
Too many accidents!
After campaigning by local residents for a safer crossing at the intersection between Gipsy Hill and Westow Street, there is to be a trial of signal modifications, hopefully within the next two months.
Our heritage at risk
Does the sight of a Victorian villa with plastic windows lift your spirits? Or a historic shop front replaced by a black metallised frame? How do you feel about shabby or garishly decorated buildings? And rows of shops with rolled-down shutters? The latest Heritage at Risk register, released by English Heritage, reveals
Westow Hill: the frontage of this early Victorian shop was spoilt without planning permission
that one in seven of England's 9,300 conservation areas is at risk of neglect, decay or damaging change. Included on the Register is our own Crystal Palace Triangle, which continues to experience serious deterioration and inadequate borough enforcement. Threats include: • unsympathetic replacement of doors and windows • poorly maintained roads and pavements • street clutter • unsightly satellite dishes • confused traffic management • alterations to front elevations • loss of shop fronts • impact of advertisements • inappropriate extensions • over-large developments
Westow Street: the oldest building in the Triangle, allowed to fall into dereliction
Maintaining conservation areas is not just the job of the Council. Traders and businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, as well as individual home owners, must take responsibility, seek proper advice, and be mindful of the effects their actions have on the community, if we are to protect our local heritage. 5
What does the CPCA do?
We care passionately about preserving the charm and character of our unique area and protecting the safety, welfare and prosperity of its community. This generates much routine ‘watchdog’ work, as well as huge efforts that go into specific issues, such as the recent Park inquiry.
One major aspect of our work is reviewing planning applications, commenting on them, objecting where appropriate – and keeping members informed about them.
And we can claim many successes! For instance, the removal, after two years of campaigning, of the unsightly and unlawful advertising hoarding at the end of Church Road – and the scaffolding opposite it.
E! N O G The huge hoarding at the corner of Church Road and Anerley Hill has been removed at last 6
Our watchdog function involves attending the meetings of many organisations, such as the Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Upper Norwood Library, Neighbourhood Partnerships, Penge Forum, Community Development Trust, Upper Norwood Improvement team, and many more...
Our work generates a lot of administration – organising our busy office, Committee meetings, membership, and so on. One of our most important functions is, of course, communicating with our members, which we do by email, letter and phone, and by producing and distributing newsletters.
But we not only believe in working for the community; we like to enjoy ourselves as a community, which is why we organise a range of social events where we can meet each other – and have some fun!
Come and join us!
If you’d like to get involved in any of this, we’d welcome your help and your company. You can tell us which areas you’re interested in by ticking the boxes on the membership form (enclosed) when you join or renew your subscription.
The 60-second interview
Audrey Hammond CPCA President
Audrey Hammond has lived in Crystal Palace since 1956. A local campaigner on behalf of the Triangle, mother and grandmother, she is known for her drawings and paintings, many of which can be found in the book Crystal Palace Norwood Heights: A Pictorial Record.
What brought you to Crystal Palace? I was very attracted to the place, visually for its character, and because it had everything you needed to live comfortably – several butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fish shops, book shops. A good mixture of small businesses, workshops, light industry and housing. How has it changed over the years? We lost a lot of our small shops because of high rents, short leases and increased rates, and the supermarket did away with the rest. I’ve gradually seen the systematic destruction of much of the character of the area through thoughtless and unimaginative planning.
How did you get involved locally? In 1969 there were rumours that Croydon Council intended to ‘modernise’ the Triangle, including much demolition. A group of us formed the Crystal Palace Triangle Community Association and campaigned for a family arts centre to be built in the middle of the Triangle. We hoped that it would become a community focus and increase trade for the local shops, thereby creating a thriving area with no need of ‘modernisation’. Did you achieve any of your aims? Yes. CPTCA was instrumental in getting the Triangle designated a conservation area in 1988, which is when we published our book. Many people said the paintings and drawings in it opened their eyes to the character of the area and what was happening to it. I think it created ripples that led to that vital decision. What happened next? The area still needed protecting, and the Association has remained constantly vigilant over the years, as it does today (see page 5). The Association itself has evolved over time: a while ago we dropped the ‘T’ in our title to reflect the fact that our area of concern goes beyond the Triangle. But that’s another story... A limited number of copies of the 2nd edition are available from Bookseller Crow, Dulwich Books and Kirkdale Bookshop
Come and join us! Free concert
Saturday 20 February at 7.30pm Free concert in aid of the Haiti Earthquake Appeal, at Christ Church, Highland Rd, Gipsy Hill. This vibrant violin and piano recital will include Brahms’ Scherzo in C minor, Glazunov Meditation and Franck Violin Sonata. No need to book. Donations appreciated.
Sunday 21 March Meet at 10.30am outside the library at Crystal Palace. This circular walk will lead us through the green areas of South Norwood and Elmers End, including South Norwood Lakes and South Norwood Country Park.
CPCA ON THE WEB
Don’t forget to bookmark the CPCA website for news and event details, and subscribe to our RSS or email feeds to have updates delivered straight to you... www.cpca.org.uk
We will lunch at the Grape and Grain at the top of Anerley Hill on our return. Please call us, so we know to expect you. A £5 charge per person will go towards CPCA funds. Refreshments not included.
Wednesday 21 April at 7.30pm Yak and Yeti Restaurant, 107 Church Road, Crystal Palace. This Nepalese and Indian restaurant has a creative menu including meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian dishes. If you wish to join us for a meal there, please let us know by Monday 19 April.
To book any of the events, call the CPCA office on 020 8670 4395
SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE 1 MARCH!
Please use the enclosed form to join, or renew your membership and send us your updated details, so that we can continue keeping you informed.
Crystal Palace Community Association c/o 10 Jasper Road London SE19 1SJ Tel/fax: 020 8670 4395 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.cpca.org.uk Member of the London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies Registered Charity No. 261790