Housing is to be included in the regeneration of Crystal Palace Park - a project which it has now emerged will take a massive 15 to 20 years to complete.

However, the possibility of a major development, possibly a glass pod or a new Crystal Palace on the 200-acre park's top site appears to have been dropped. Trees will be planted there instead.

The August edition of Park News - sent out to 40,000 residents - revealed the LDA's plans for the park. The masterplan is due to be submitted to Bromley Council this autumn.

Despite widespread opposition, the controversial housing option, which could potentially raise £12million of the estimated £67.2million needed for the redevelopment, will be included. The LDA said this would be a "last resort", occurring only if alternative funding sources were not found.

The two-acre housing plan focuses on Rockhills, home to the Caravan Club, and at Sydenham Gate, which houses the One O'Clock Club, ambulance station and park rangers yard.

The LDA said this would return acres of land to the park as only one of the Caravan Club's private six acres would be used for housing. The organisation has estimated 176 flats could be built on this land and just under an acre used at Sydenham Gate.

John Payne, from the Crystal Palace Community Association, called the housing option "very disappointing" but said it was "encouraging" it was a last resort.

He added: "The LDA is making extraordinary heavy weather out of the regeneration and redesign of the park. They've supposedly listened to ideas from the community but runaway and come up with what they want. I don't think anything will even be done before the 2012 Olympics."

Nikki Nichol from the Caravan Club, which has been in the park since 1951, said visitors to the popular site contributed about £2million to the local economy and that they are in discussions with the Greater London Authority regarding the lease.

Vivien Tutt, manager of the One O'Clock Club, said they were reluctant to move from their present location, although she welcomed the prospect of a new building.

Joseph Mullen, from Upper Norwood, has written to Olympics minister Tessa Jowell MP, London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and even the Queen.

He said: "The park has history and should never be touched in this way."

An LDA spokesman said an extensive £3.5million consultation with the community had been carried out since 2004 which has helped to produce the £1.5million masterplan.

Sue Noble, chair of the Triangle Traders, said the consultation "completely ignored" people's views about rebuilding Crystal Palace or the popular option of a major development on the top site.

She labelled the LDA's plans for a grid of trees at the site of the palace "very clever" as few people would oppose their planting.

She added: "If they rebuilt the palace or had a similar structure then it would be a great focus for south London. The minute it was built, Crystal Palace would be a national focus again. The traders are gobsmacked and they can't believe it."

The LDA spokesman said there were never any firm plans for any large structure to be built on the former Palace site. Instead, he said, it is now proposed for a small museum to be built at the old subway station which would include a roof terrace.

  • For more on the Crystal Palace Park plans click here