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CPCA FINAL:BL2 TMP 2 23/04/2010 21:28 Page 1

Summer 2010

BULLETIN

Life begins at 40! This is the age when energy and experience are said to come together. The CPCA has plenty of each, and this year the Association celebrates its 40th birthday! It has been, and continues to be, run by volunteers who feel that ‘doing’ is better than just worrying or hoping for the best. Working to protect the local heritage from illconsidered planning applications and road schemes, attending police meetings to help ensure safer homes and streets, and promoting the cultural and trading life of the Triangle makes the CPCA an effective voice for those who really care about Crystal Palace. There are many achievements to celebrate, including: the designation of the Triangle as a conservation area; preventing Bromley Council from removing Metropolitan Open Land status from the Park’s hilltop; and more recently, getting the Lo—˜— Development Agency’s plan to sell parkland for housing called in for local public inquiry. As this is a special year for the CPCA, our AGM will include a

Issue Two

celebration with homemade food, wine and a birthday cake! As well as the usual business, there will be an audio-visual presentation by local artist and CPCA President, Audrey Hammond. She will describe the founding of the CPTCA (now CPCA) in 1970, using her extensive photographic and artistic records of the area to show the changes, both good and bad, which have occurred over the years. The AGM is open to all members. If you are not yet a member, there is still time to join by completing the form on page 6. This is a good opportunity to see how the Association works, to meet the Committee, and to ask questions. We ask people to arrive promptly for what promises to be a lively and enjoyable event.

CPCA AGM Thursday 20 May 2010, 7.30pm Goodliffe Hall, Christ Church, Highland Road, off Gipsy Hill, London SE19


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Should public money fund private speculation? Dramatic changes may be ahead for the way our town centre is to be managed, following the relocation by Croydon Council of our Town Centre Manager to Purley. Croydon has decided, through the offices of their controversial Croydon Economic Development Company, to provide funding, and pass the role of business development in the area, to the Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood Chamber of Commerce. This, they say, would be achieved through the establishment of a ‘Business Improvement District’ (BID). Bromley, Lambeth and the London Development Agency have indicated that they would also be prepared to support this concept with a degree of funding.

Crystal Palace – a ‘global destination’? Despite Croydon’s insistence that the new arrangement will be inclusive, and that residents’ groups will be able to contribute to any debate, the CPCA no longer receives invitations to attend Chamber of Commerce meetings. This follows our opposition to Chamber Chair, Ray Hall’s proposal for a vast hotel, conference centre and leisure development complex, occupying up to 20 acres of Crystal Palace Park, which has been heavily promoted through the offices of the Chamber. 2

Mr Hall recently responded on behalf of the Chamber to Croydon’s draft ‘Core Strategy’, proposing that this area of southeast London be transformed into a ‘global destination’, and that this could only be achieved by the construction of his proposed development, and the relocation of Crystal Palace Football Club to Crystal Palace Park.

Council leaders support vast development on the Park Chamber members represent just a small percentage of traders in the Triangle, let alone the wider area, and it is questionable whether a small unrepresentative group of traders and acolytes should receive substantial funding from the public purse to enable them to pursue their own commercial speculation. Despite the absence of a planning application, Environmental Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment, or even a basic business plan, the leaders of Croydon and Bromley Councils, Cllrs Mike Fisher and Stephen Carr, fully support Mr Hall’s scheme. However, such proposals would be contrary to the Mayor’s London Plan and Bromley’s and Croydon’s UDPs, which maintain that protection of Metropolitan Open Land is paramount.

Shouldn’t the community have a say? The CPCA is concerned that the Chamber, devoted as it is only to business interests, is being used to lobby politically for huge commercial development on our


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New Charter for Library

In the 1990s, the community united in its opposition to development on the Park

Park. Yet it was not long ago that the community fought hard to prevent such a development on the hilltop. Do we want our tiny town to become the ‘capital of South London’ and a ‘global destination’, or would we rather preserve the unique and rich history that makes the place so special to us? The eclectic, quirky shops and artisan workshops tucked away in the heart of the Triangle; the myriad restaurants; the wonderful views and open spaces of Crystal Palace Park – these never cease to amaze and delight, and are why so many of us choose to live and work here.

CPCA pushes for wider representation The CPCA will meet shortly with Croydon Enterprise to discuss how other interest groups can have an input into how their area is to be sustained and improved.

In the year of the Upper Norwood Joint Library’s (UNJL) 110th anniversary, a new Charter has been launched by the its Joint Committee, recommending a continuation of the unique independence of the Library, with adequate funding for its needs in providing a ‘stand-alone’ and self-sufficient service for the Crystal Palace community. The UNJL is the most efficient library service in London. Official figures show that its running costs are 50% lower than the average for Greater London, and 56% lower than those for Inner London. Crystal Palace residents pay the same Council Tax for their library services as those in other parts of Lambeth and Croydon, but only see about 65% of it invested in their own local library service. CPCA calls on its members to support the Charter, by attending UNJL Committee meetings (details from the Library or CPCA website).

Cinema campaign No news yet whether KICC will appeal against Bromley’s refusal for change of use of the former bingo hall in Church Road to a place of worship. The campaign to reinstate a cinema will hold a stall at the Crystal Palace Triangle Festival, Sat 29 May. www.picture-palace.org

East London line update The new train service is due to start operating on Saturday 22 May, with four trains an hour from Crystal Palace to Dalston Junction. It is

understood that existing services will not be affected, and that the original booking hall is being refurbished and will open later in the year. 3


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Matters Conservation area concerns At the Norbury & Upper Norwood Neighbourhood Partnership meeting on the 24 March, those attending made it very clear that they were unhappy with the way the Triangle Conservation Area was being maintained. There was much reference to the poor quality and nature of planning applications and a lack of enforcement of conservation area policy.

Danger on Westow Street One of the concerns was the unlawful used car lot at Victory Place, Westow Street, which is operating without planning permission, and whose operators removed a row of attractive wrought-iron railings. A public bench, waste bin and large potted street plant have also disappeared. The CPCA asked Croydon Council to impose a ‘Stop Order’ on the operation as, apart from the unlawful use, there were significant safety issues, including vehicles reversing out of the car lot into the one-way traffic on Westow Street.

Croydon refused, saying, “...while the application [for temporary use of the land as a car lot] is pending, there is no intention to instigate further enforcement action”. They also say that removal of the railings did not require planning permission and that the street furniture was not on council land. They did not say what had happened to the items that were removed.

Some good news However, there is one bit of good news. On 6 April, Simon Bashford, Croydon’s Principal Planner (Business Development & Liaison), conducted a tour of the Triangle with a number of local representatives, including the CPCA, on a survey of shop fronts. He said this would feed into a study to establish the status of the shop fronts of concern (ie whether they are lawful, currently the subject of enforcement action, historic to the point where they are beyond enforcement action, etc). Mr Bashford said: “I think this is a positive step forward and hopefully, although I cannot guarantee it, we’ll be able to find some resources to be proactive about any breaches that come to light.” He confirmed that a current appraisal of the Triangle Conservation Area would be followed shortly by a consultation and adoption process.

TELL US YOUR VIEWS! Dangerous manoeuvres: cars reverse out of Victory Place into Westow Street 4

We want to hear your views on the issues affecting our area


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40 years of CPCA A personal history told in instalments by Audrey Hammond The early years: 1969-1973 Delving into the history of the CPCA was a much harder task than I could have imagined, involving many ascents into my dusty attic to seek out the early records. Having sorted the heavy tomes, I started to go through them. What a task – and what struggles were revealed!

Galvanised into action It all began in mid-1969, with dramatic headlines announcing the demolition of the Triangle as part of Croydon Council’s plans for redevelopment. Many local people were horrified. We lived here because we loved the character of the place, with its historic atmosphere, traditional shops and quiet leafy streets. But shopkeepers were having a hard time and Croydon’s only solution appeared to be to rebuild anew. As rumours circulated, people began to formulate counter ideas, such as a Family Arts Centre inside the Triangle, to revitalise this focal point, drawing the community to the Triangle to enjoy its cultural and creative activities and its local shops.

The precursor of the CPCA begins to form A group of interested local people met, discussed and thrashed out a name (the Crystal Palace Triangle Community Association) and called a public meeting in January 1970. Many more came to offer their help and talents, and we were away.

A certain Jim Ballantine offered his shop windows in Church Road for advertising(as above). He also held weekly chess and music evenings in his house, and became our membership secretary. With his, and everyone else’s enthusiasm, our membership rocketed to over 600 in the first year.

Confrontation over Park plans Those first few years were fulfilling, but incredibly hard work. We failed to secure funding for the Arts Centre, but our time was taken up organising hundreds of activities for the community, as well as a monthly newsletter. We were also kept busy writing letters and trying to negotiate with local councils. By 1973 we were in head-on altercation with the GLC over their suddenly thought-up plans for our Park. Well – some things never change! Next instalment in the Autumn issue5


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CPCA FINAL:BL2 TMP 2 23/04/2010 21:28 Page 7

The 60-second interview Rebecca Fraga Member of CPCA Events Committee

Rebecca has lived in Crystal Palace for five years. Her work involves supporting families who have children with disabilities. What brought you to Crystal Palace? I was drawn by the quirky shops, the village-like atmosphere, and all the open spaces. Last year I joined the Dulwich Park runners and I have explored and appreciated the many green spaces, tree-lined roads, interesting gardens and hidden gems that this area has to offer.

Why did you join the CPCA? I wanted a sense of belonging, and to get a feel for what was going on in the local community. By joining the CPCA I have met so many people. It’s nice to bump into people I know when I go to Sainsbury’s and, as the members are such a mix of different people, there is always a story to be heard. It has also given me the opportunity to find out about local issues, such as the cinema and the library campaigns. Why did you decide to join the Events Committee? Events are enjoyable to organise and participate in, and a great way to meet people. Through the guided walks I have learnt a lot about the local history of the area. Even the AGMs are enjoyable – what other organisation can boast a range of guest speakers from a worldrenowned puppeteer performing a show, to the local fox project giving a talk on the secret lives of foxes?

Good things to do locally

Volunteering

* The Crystal Palace Foundation is a voluntary organisation promoting research and education on the history of the Palace. It is currently involved in conservation of the remains of the Park’s aquarium. www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk Tel: 07889 338 812 * Embrace Woodlands is a one-year project based on Dulwich Upper Wood that offers exciting work placements and practical

environmental conservation skills. They are also looking for local residents to take part in oral history interviews about the wood. www.myembrace.org Tel: 020 8670 1221

Farmers’ markets * West Norwood High Street (Lancaster Road end): 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 10am-3pm. * Dulwich College forecourt: 4th Sunday of the month, 9am-1pm. 7


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Social Events Local history walk ‘New Worlds, New Discoveries, New Inventions’ Tuesday 1 June, 7pm Meet at Forsyth Crescent, Church Road, by the Croydon transmitter. Due to popular request we are repeating this guided walk, which uncovers local memorials, blue plaques and places of interest, revealing the fascinating stories of past residents and the legacies they have left us. The walk takes approximately two hours, and finishes at the Dulwich Wood House pub, where we will take refreshments (not included). *Cost: £5 per person.

There will be a limited choice of drinks available in exchange for donations, or bring your own. *Cost: £8 members; £9 non-members.

A wander along the Wandle Sunday 11 July, 10am Meet at Beckenham Road tram stop. We will take the tram to Waddon to start our walk, which follows the River Wandle. Enjoy the varied wildlife as the stream develops into a river, passing through lovely parks, old mills and Carshalton Ponds. We finish at Morden Hall, for lunch at the National Trust Café before heading back by tram. *Cost of walk: £5 (transport and refreshments not included).

Quiz Night Friday 11 June, 7.30pm Goodliffe Hall, Highland Road, SE19 Join a team – or bring your own of up to eight people – to this fun event. The cost includes a fish and chip supper. Veggie quiche available too – please let us know when you book.

Dining out Tuesday 20 July, 7.30pm A Torre Restaurant, Westow St, SE19 If you’d like to join us for a meal at this popular Portuguese restaurant, please let us know by July 17.

*All monies go towards CPCA funds TO bOOk AnY OF ThE AbOVE EVEnTS PLEASE COnTACT US AS bELOW

NEED TO RENEW? LIKE TO JOIN? Please cut out the form on page 6 and send it with your subscription – or better still, the completed standing order form, which will save you the bother each year – to the address below.

SECRETARY / ADMInISTRATOR Donate your skills to a good cause – come and help out at CPCA. Contact us as below for details.

Crystal Palace Community Association c/o 10 Jasper Road London SE19 1SJ Tel/fax: 020 8670 4395 email: cpca@onetel.com website: www.cpca.org.uk Member of the London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies Registered Charity No. 261790

CPCA Bulletin Summer 2010  

What's going on locally in Crystal Palace - news, events and features in our regular bulletin

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