Regeneration of the park

Bromley council recognise Crystal Palace Park’s potential as a park of local, regional and national significance and are working to bring regeneration to the park and to secure a more sustainable future so that it is enjoyed for generations to come.

Current improvement scheme

In 2014, Bromley council and the Mayor of London agreed to invest 2.4m in park improvements.  Subsequently, Historic England contributed a further £100k and the council have allocated an additional £321k to ensure that improvements could go ahead.

Improvements include:

  • The building of a new café and community space
  • A new skatepark
  • Landscaping and removal of disused structures
  • Conservation of the Grade Ilisted dinosaurs and Grade II listed sphinxes

All improvements have now been completed, except the café which is currently under construction.

Café news

Work on the construction of a new café and community space began in early 2018 following the appointment of Lengard Ltd.  Designed by Chris Dyson Architects, this new half round cedar-shingle clad  building will develop a new relationship with the dinosaur island and support the interpretation of the historic Grade 1 listed models. The second storey will provide community space allowing for private hire as well as additional café seating during the busy summer months.

Architect's drawing of proposed new cafe at Crystal Palace Park

 

The new café was due to open in November 2018, however due to unavoidable delays to the construction programme, it is now expected that the café will open early in 2019.  The café will be operated by Brown & Green, who run cafes at Crystal Palace Station and at other sites locally.

While the new café is under construction, Brown & Green will serve a selection of hot and cold food and drink from their mobile Life Van near the Penge entrance to the park.

Skatepark

The construction of the new skatepark is now complete.  Designed and built by Canvas Skateparks Ltd, the skatepark features an advanced tile-and-coping cloverleaf pool – the first in London for 40 years.  It also consists of an extended 100m long and 11m wide curved concrete band, filled with a wide range of rideable terrains for people of all abilities and riding styles.  The skatepark is suitable for BMX, quad-skating, rollerblading, scootering and skateboarding and has been designed for riders of all ages.

To find out more about the skatepark, you can contact the Friends of Crystal Palace Park Skatepark – a voluntary association helping to maintain and promote the skatepark.

Conservation of Grade I listed dinosaurs

The project has completed conservation works to Iggy the Iguanodon, and seven of the water-based sculptures have undergone major conservation by Skillington Workshop in the autumn of 2016.  The lake landscape and weir have also been repaired, and new interpretation panels have been installed.

Our long-term vision

The council aspires to reinstate Crystal Palace Park as a place of fun and recreation in the spirit of Paxton’s vision, celebrating excellence in landscape and horticulture and providing facilities and events in keeping with a park of international significance.

The council is using the 2007 Masterplan as a guide to our step-by-step programme of regeneration.  This plan was given planning consent in 2010, however the funds to deliver this £67m scheme were not identified, and are unlikely to ever be available.  However, the Masterplan is still a valuable framework for regeneration in the park.

Regeneration plan

In March 2014, the council committed resources to bring to fruition aspects of the Masterplan.  The Regeneration Plan is not a new plan, but an updated version of the 2007 Masterplan that is achievable within the resources available.  It is strategy that includes three interlinked plans:

  1. The physical regeneration of the park
  2. A new and sustainable business model to ensure that the benefit created by the physical regeneration is ongoing
  3. A new form of governance for the park that provides the right resources and expertise to manage a regional park with national significance.

The physical regeneration of the park

In 2016, AECOM were appointed to develop a plan for the physical regeneration of the park.

View the full Regeneration Plan.

The plan identified the following regeneration aims for the park:

  • To reinvigorate Crystal Palace Park as a contemporary and historic showcase in tune with Paxton’s vision and create a place of discovery, learning recreation and fun.
  • To develop the park’s local and regional identity, and re-establish its national and international significance
  • To provide community benefits through both facilities within the park and connections to local facilities and the economy
  • The deliver a modern, financially and environmentally friendly, sustainable plan, securing the long-term future of the park.

The priorities for the park’s physical regeneration are:

  • To repair and improve infrastructure throughout the park
  • Conserve and interpret historic assets in the park
  • Reconnect and open up the central walk/Paxton axis through the park
  • Restore the architectural presence and grandeur of the terraces

The physical regeneration must:

  • Work within the capital budget available
  • Deliver the regeneration aims and priorities
  • Respond to community engagement
  • Respond to business plan findings and opportunities for income generation
  • Work, where possible, within the planning principles established by the 2007 Masterplan.

Business model

The council commissioned specialists Fourth Street to work up a business model for the park which is based on market research and analysis.  This work has identified that an endowment fund is likely to be required for the park to bridge the gap between the anticipated income and expenditure.

New form of governance

The Crystal Palace Park Trust are key stakeholders in the development of the Regeneration Plan, and are shadowing the council’s development work, influencing the direction the park’s regeneration will take.  It is planned that the Trust will eventually take over the management of the park from the council.

The Trust’s management of the park will be subject to the development of the sustainable business model, which will be reliant on the park’s regeneration and the development of new and maximised income streams.

The Trust is made up of nine local people with exceptional skills, experience and knowledge in a range of fields from planning to law.  All members were recruited through a competitive process with a focus on setting up a Trust with the skills required to successfully manage the park in the future. If you would like to get in touch with the Trust, please email: contact@crystalpalacepark.org.uk

Timescales

We were initially anticipating submitting an Outline Planning Application for the Regeneration Plan in Spring 2018.  However, a number of challenges have delayed this submission; we are currently working with partners and statutory consultees to develop a strong enabling development case to allow the plan to go ahead.

We are now working towards submitting the Outline Planning Application in autumn 2018, however it is likely to be 2020 before works on site would commence.

Find out more

There have been several community consultation events in the development of the regeneration plan.  To find out more, you can read our consultation event information boards.  Feedback from these events have shaped the plan. If you would like to know more, please contact us.

Other plans for the park

National Sports Centre

The Mayor of London is currently developing plans to ensure that the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, located in the park, is fit for the future.  They have assembled a team of architects, designers, enthusiasts and specialists to come up with a plan under the name: On Your Marks!

Find out more at www.on-your-marks.co.uk

Crystal Palace regeneration

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