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Delay in Crystal Palace Park decision

Crystal Palace park and waterfall

Crystal Palace park and waterfall

Archant

Residents will have to wait even longer to know the final outcome of an inquiry into a controversial £67.5million park development.

Crystal Palace park and waterfall

The Secretary of State Eric Pickles announced a three-week delay before he will confirm whether all the proposals for Crystal Palace Park will go ahead, confirming he will now make the decision on December 13.

Campaigners who have opposed some of the development because it involves selling off public parkland to raise £12million revenue asked for the extension to give them time to comment on changes to the planning document.

Mr Pickles gave outline planning approval in July following a lengthy inquiry into whether it was legal to build houses on the public land but stated as part of the bargain that the London Development Agency (LDA), the applicant, must make beneficial changes to the park.

Campaigners fear the LDA’s proposals could mean housing is built before these improvements take place.

Crystal Palace community chairman John Payne said: “It is a concern. We have to make our comments to Eric Pickles by November 4. Our barrister is working on our response.”

As well as major re-landscaping, plans include a museum and a horticultural college.

An LDA spokesman said: “The Secretary of State approved the masterplan for Crystal Palace Park, subject to making a few technical amendments.

“The LDA is making those amendments, so that any work on the new gateways is directly linked to improvements on LDA-owned land in the park.”

The decision was called in by the Secretary of State because of the size and controversy which some 8,000 residents signed a petition against.

Aside from the 180 luxury apartments, there are plans for a 500-space car park, excavated gardens with 60ft high greenhouses and a tree-top walkway.

A decision had been expected by November 22 but Mr Pickles said it won’t take place before December 13.


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