Crystal Palace Park housing plans split opinion
Controversial plans backed by Boris Johnson to build 180 luxury flats in Crystal Palace Park have divided the community, with many people feeling further investment in the park is unnecessary.
Last month Bromley Council gave outline planning permission for housing to be built on the Crystal Palace Caravan Club site, which will help fund a £41m redevelopment of the historic park.
But many residents fear the project will be an eye sore for park goers and see it as a cynical way for the council to generate money from public land, while setting a precedent for further development.
Park user Damian Pena from Sydenham said: “I'm totally opposed to this idea. The fact Boris Johnson is supporting this after saying he supports London's green areas doesn't surprise me, Ken Livingstone was doing the same, saying one thing but doing another.”
And users of the Caravan Park say they will miss the site, unique in its proximity to central London.
Lurus Vastor, 35, from Spain, who has been travelling with her family around England in their mobile home, said: “Tourists come here from far away and we'll definitely miss it when it's gone. All the other sites are quite far out, it's really quite special.”
However some residents have welcomed the proposals, believing the investment will raise the profile of the area before the 2012 Olympics.
Robert Czarneczki, 27, from Crystal Palace, said: “This is right in the corner of the park, you wouldn't know the caravan site is even a part of the park.
“I've been to concerts here and I think it's a good idea to put more money in and make more of the park.”
Mr Johnson's office approved the London Development Agency’s (LDA) masterplan for the park but still has the power to change the plans.
Appeals against the plans can not yet be submitted as the outline permission is still subject to a legal agreement and possible direction from central Government.