The famous water towers which stood in Crystal Palace Park for nearly 80 years are to be rebuilt as wind turbines.

The scheme, backed by the London Development Agency (LDA), will see the new structures generate green electricity for the 200-acre park.

They will reflect the design of the old water towers, created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1855. They held up to 1,200 tons of water to feed the fountains below and stood next to the Crystal Palace glass building, which was burnt down in the fire of 1936.

Although some of the water towers remained after the fire they were demolished in World War Two to prevent enemy bomber planes finding their way to London.

An LDA spokesman said the new towers would be 86 metres tall, the same as Brunel's, with wind turbines inside and solar panels attached. The designers want them to be made with a special glass which changes colour in the sunlight, providing a shimmering effect. They will also be illuminated at night.

Earlier this year landscape architects Latz & Partners unveiled an outline of how the park could look in the future, which included the changes proposed in the LDA's £100million master plan to regenerate the park. Their applications are expected to be submitted to Bromley Council this autumn.

"The towers would provide a magnificent landmark on the broader London skyline and really put Crystal Place on the map," said designer Robin Buckle.

But not everyone is pleased with the proposal. Melvyn Harrison, chairman of the Crystal Palace Foundation, said he was "extremely wary" about the plans.

"It's good to have a memorial but whether this is it is another matter," he said. "It's innovative but very modern - I would prefer a complete replica.

"The LDA are using historical justifications to make their plans stand up. I'm also opposed to the LDA selling off parts of the park to pay for improvements to it, when this could lead to housing being built in the park."