Quite a sobering Main Group meeting of the park Dialogue process on Saturday 17th May. A newcomer in the audience stood up and accused a number of the participants of arguing like children, and I have to say, I found myself nodding. And this was just trying to agree the order of the agenda… The contention was over the planning scenarios, in particular the interaction between the Masterplan and the
The LDA still describe housing as “the funding source of last resort”, but from the presentation that Mark Lloyd of the LDA gave, you would have to say it’s likely. They break the costs and the funding down by the local/regional/national park split that the Masterplan used. Essential the local park category includes most of the concrete removal and landscaping, whereas national includes things like the tree-top walkway.
- Local park £39m
- Regional park £57m
- National Park £67m
Broadly, the funding sources for the National Park breakdown as
- Heritage Lottery Fund - £3m (1)
- Big lottery fund - £15m? (2)
- Housing - £13.1m
- Commercial - £10m?
- Private sponsorship - £2m
- Bromley + other LAs - £5m (3)
- Total funding - £49.1m
- Gap - £17.9m
1 – for the terraces
2 – although a previous application in 2006 was turned down, so this is likely to have to wait until after the Olympics.
3 – i.e. all five boroughs
So at the very least, they’re still short of £8m, and more likely £18m short…. They’re still looking at other funding streams. The LDA’s position is uncertain until they’ve worked out what the new Mayor wants (much discussion at the meeting, people couldn’t pin down whether or not he’d said he was against housing on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) during the election campaign, but that could be very significant!). Could Tramlink make a contribution if its going to run through the park (personally I think its the least they could do given the damage it will do to the park)?
But there’s still a lot of question marks in there on the major funding streams. Arguably, given the current housing mark, the housing stream should have a substantial question mark next to it (despite the LDA’s protestations that park-side houses sell for a premium, they still reflect the prices in the local area). Tellingly, the LDA admitted that they had no experience of delivering this type of scheme, the closest they could think of was the Olympics!
Broadly, the timings set out by the LDA were:
- Local park – works 2012 – 2017
- Regional park – works 2015 – 2019
- National park – 2016 – 2021
I found myself wondering how many of the people arguing about the park’s future would still be living in the area by the time it was finished…
Masterplan Planning Application
As we’ve said previously, if you haven’t got your response in, do it soon!
Planning Scenarios / New
It’s fair to say that this subject lead to a lot of heated debate. I know that there are Friends on both sides of the
- The LDA masterplan
proposal (not yet at planning application stage) New Crystal Palace Park
- Other schemes or a mix of the above two
- Nothing happens…
There are a lot of forces both in favour of and against each option. For example the LDA scheme benefits from having an option on the park (which would stop the New Crystal Palace proposal, as its backers require an option on the site which can’t be granted while the LDA has one), but it suffers from opposition to the housing elements. It was reported that the
Nigel Westaway (from the facilitation team) was genuinely concerned that the most likely outcome was nothing happens. As I said, it was quite a sobering thought, and a very different tone to the note of optimism that we left the last meeting on (see report here: http://focpp.blogspot.com/2008/02/park-update-from-main-group.html). With a lot of people against both schemes and unwilling to compromise, its not hard to see how he reached that conclusion. While the idea of a wilderness may appeal to some, my personal view is the
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