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Crystal Palace Park plans upheld by High Court
CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build new homes on Crystal Palace Park have been upheld by the High Court.
The Crystal Palace Community Association (CPCA) had challenged the £68m London Development Agency master plan for 180 luxury flats, a new regional sports centre, 50m swimming pool, a museum and a horticultural college.
The government gave its backing to the 20-year vision in 2010.
Chairman of the CPCA John Payne feared the decision could set a precedent.
He said: "We're very disappointed by the High Court decision.
"This decision shows that if you demonstrate special grounds or circumstances developers will be allowed to build on our parks with the aid of local authorities and other agencies.
"It's a very worrying precedent. We will now see commercial elements queuing up to develop on parks."
Mr Payne added: "The dubious improvements to the park will be paid for by the incremental sale of parts of the park.
"It's like if you want to restore the crown jewels then you pay for doing it by taking out the odd stone and selling it."
Councillor Stephen Carr, Leader of Bromley Council said: “We are quietly pleased with this decision as although the council was not part of the High Court proceedings, the decision nevertheless vindicates our original planning decision.
"There is much to commend in the master plan, which in effect is our long term vision of improvement for Crystal Palace Park and what we must do now is focus on how best to achieve this going forwards.
"We have been discussing the future of the park with stakeholders and community groups and we want to improve this historic park for the benefit of all local residents, including those from the four neighbouring boroughs.”
A spokesman for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The Mayor is pleased that vital regeneration in Crystal Palace Park has moved a step closer.
"He is committed to finding a workable solution for the area, and has signalled this commitment by setting aside £2m in this year's budget to support regeneration, driving jobs and boosting economic growth in the capital."
The CPCA says it will be seeking further legal advice to appeal the decision.