Plans published for £67.5m park revamp

The master-plan for the £67.5m regeneration of the historic Crystal Palace Park has been published for the first time by its creators the London Development Agency (LDA), Design for London and landscape architecture firm Latz + Partner.

Its publication precedes the submission this autumn of the plan to Bromley Borough Council. It reveals the development team’s hopes to make the south London park an international attraction once again. LDA chief executive Manny Lewis said: “I’m delighted to say that our master-plan for Crystal Palace Park is ready for submission to Bromley council. The LDA has worked hard to ensure that local people have had a real say in the future of their park, after carrying out the largest park consultation in UK history. Having seen these exciting designs drawn up by Latz + Partner, I am confident they are entirely fitting for this historic park, ensuring it has a sustainable, ecological yet exciting future for years to come.” The proposals include the creation of new horticultural features such as tropical glasshouses, a tree canopy mimicking the silhouette of the old palace, sunken gardens and a museum featuring open spaces. Work is unlikely to start for at least a year as the council is expected to take until next autumn to make a decision on the plans. The LDA will try to find funding partners to help find the £67.5m needed to carry out the project — expected to take some 15 years to complete. The creation of new housing will be one of the first jobs carried out as it will generate £13.1m. An LDA representative said: “In order to finance the basic park improvement works we have concluded that the development of up to 180 purpose-built residential units, at two locations on the periphery of the park [Rockhills and Sydenham Gate], is likely to be required.” Plans for Rockhills include 132 flats around garden courts while the Sydenham Gate site will see the creation of six villas. Victorian gardener and architect Joseph Paxton designed the park to house his glass structure Crystal Palace following its removal in 1854 from its original site in Hyde Park. The palace remained popular until it burned down in 1936. It is considered to be the world’s first theme park because it features a dinosaur park, designed with help from palaeontologist Richard Owen, that was this year upgraded to Grade I-registered status.

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