Locals avert plan to build on park

Housing plan for green space droppped after local opposition.

Campaigners in south-east London have won a partial victory against plans to build homes on a park. The London Development Agency (LDA) has dropped its plans to build 37 flats on the Norwood Triangle corner of Crystal Palace Park, following opposition in a large-scale consultation last year. Objectors did not feel the LDA’s plan to build homes, which it argued would create revenue to fund park improvements and development, was the right decision. But there are still plans to build homes at the Rockhills Gate and Sydenham Gate entrances to the park, generating £7m to £10m. London Assembly Green Party member Darren Johnson commented: “We are horrified about building houses on any park — even if it is just a small amount. It is simply not the way you should go about securing funding to make improvements. “I am absolutely delighted that they have dropped these plans but I am still concerned about them going ahead with the other two,” he added. Parks consultant Sid Sullivan said: “I’m very pleased that at last, consultation has been acted on and community put before cash. If this is representative of the public then it has reawakened my sense that consultation really works.” But the LDA has warned that dropping the residential proposals will also cut an important source of £5m worth of funding. There will no longer be an underground car park and some of the other proposed park improvements will be cut. LDA senior development manager Roger Firth said: “We have picked up on public opinion very quickly and acted upon it.” The LDA’s proposals include increasing the amount of accessible parkland by 20 per cent. A revised plan will now be drawn up.

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