The site where the Crystal Palace once stood could be used as a car park for major events, according to a London Development Agency (LDA) representative.

The revelation was made at a recent meeting by Mark Lloyd, the consultation manager for Crystal Palace Park.

The LDA's masterplan for the 200-acre park proposes to create a tree canopy mimicking the silhouette of the old palace where it stood before being destroyed by fire in 1936.

But Sue Nagle, from the Upper Norwood Chamber of Commerce, has campaigned for a smaller-scale replica of the original palace to be built instead, using £265million of private investment. "The LDA never said before that the top site could be used as a car park," she said. "This explains why they haven't considered anything else for the site.

"This wasn't in the masterplan - people wouldn't like it."

She thinks it is not too late for the LDA to change its plans for the top site in its masterplan.

After a recent meeting with Bromley and Croydon councils she was asked to show the scheme was popular and gathered hundreds of signatures in favour of it. "Of those I approached, 99 per cent were supportive of the scheme," she said. "A new palace would provide money, jobs, entertainment and security in the park."

But Ms Nagle said a planning application to build a new palace was impossible with the LDA's current masterplan. "If the site was left open with no trees we could put an application in but once approval is given for the trees there's no way we can," she said.

An LDA spokesman confirmed that the area of hardstanding in the tree palace could be used to provide car parking once or twice a year for large scale events.

"The issue of parking played no part in our proposal for a canopy of trees on the top site," he added, saying the LDA had no plans to change its masterplan.

A Bromley Council spokesman said the LDA's application is currently being processed. "There's nothing to stop the LDA or another party submitting a different plan," he added.