The £5million cost of drawing up a masterplan and consulting the public over the redevelopment of Crystal Palace Park has been labelled a "pointless money wasting exercise" by residents who claim they have not been listened to.

Since 2004 the London Development Agency (LDA) has spent a massive £3.5million of public money consulting residents and businesses about its plans for the historic park.

A further £1.5million has gone into producing the masterplan for the £67.2million project - a document that is to be presented to Bromley Council in the autumn.

But the level of spending has been criticised by some who say that unless their responses are listened too, the money is a waste.

Melvin Harrison from the Crystal Palace Foundation said: "I think the problem is that the LDA was so frightened about Bromley's lack of consultation it tried to be super careful and you can't blame them. But the problem is that they have still included housing in the park plans and so haven't listened to people.

"A lot of money has been spent because of the paranoia of the LDA but there is no point having this degree of consultation if you're not going to listen to the results. It becomes a pointless money wasting exercise. Despite all the money that has been spent, we are effectively back to first base."

However, a spokesman for the LDA defended the level of spending and said its "extensive, ongoing consultation programme" was to ensure the park plans met the needs of the local community.

"Master planners have worked with the community at every step of the design stage, which has inevitably increased the cost," the spokesman added, "Such attention to detail has made us very confident in the quality of the masterplan we have developed, and that it strongly reflects the wishes of the people.

"We feel an extensive community engagement programme was invaluable in ensuring the plans for the park meet the needs of the communities it serves, and that consultation has used a variety of mediums including regular printed newsletters, public workshops, public exhibitions, public events, an outreach programme and business events to name but a few."

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