Mayor of London’s answers on Crystal Palace Park

One of our London Assembly Members, Darren Johnson, has been working closely with local residents and groups to get answers from the Mayor about the plans to build on the Crystal Palace Park hill top.

This post contains all the answers the Mayor has given Darren and other Assembly Members. If you have questions you’d like answered, email Darren at darren.johnson@london.gov.uk. He can’t put in every question, but if there is something the Mayor could clarify or be challenged on let him know!

Questions tabled for 25th March 2015 MQT

Other proposals for Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2015/0837
Darren Johnson (Green)
Has the GLA been contacted by companies, besides the ZhongRong Group and its agents, expressing an interest in developing something on the hill top in Crystal Palace Park since October 2013?
Written response from the Mayor
Yes.

Discussions about Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2015/0838
Darren Johnson (Green)
Has the GLA discussed proposals for developing something on the hill top in Crystal Palace Park with any companies, besides the ZhongRong Group and its agents, since October 2013?
Written response from the Mayor
Yes.
Crystal Palace Park masterplan
Question No: 2015/0839
Darren Johnson (Green)
Are you considering pressing for revisions to, or a rewrite of, the adopted masterplan for Crystal Palace Park when the study of the wider Crystal Palace area is concluded?
Written response from the Mayor
The study of the wider Crystal Palace area focuses on the town centres rather than the Park. Officers are working with LB Bromley to explore next steps for the Park following the expiry of the Exclusivity Agreement with ZRG. This will include revisiting elements of the Masterplan to take account of the current context and address the affordability gap.

Crystal Palace Park HLF bid
Question No: 2015/0840
Darren Johnson (Green)
Given that the ZhongRong Group proposal, which you actively supported, derailed the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Crystal Palace Park, and that the work now being paid for with the GLA’s match funding will fall a long way short of the works proposed in the HLF bid, would you make available further match funds for a future bid to complete those works?
Written response from the Mayor
Following expiry of the Exclusivity Agreement with ZRG, Officers are working with LB Bromley to explore next steps. As part of this, progressing a bid to the HLF remains a priority.

National Sports Centre
Question No: 2015/1060
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
When will the GLA publish the results of the recent consultation on the future of the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park? How will the local community be able to access this and how will they be involved in the next steps of work regarding the NSC?
Written response from the Mayor
The results of the public consultation will be published on the GLA’s website. Discussions continue with key stakeholders, including major sporting bodies (Sport England, ASA, UK Athletics etc.) and local community groups.

Crystal Palace Park Masterplan
Question No: 2015/1062
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What plans are there to review the Crystal Palace Park Masterplan, and what protection will be afforded to the Park through the planning process to ensure any future proposals for the park are compliant with the extant Crystal Palace Park Act and appropriate for nearby local communities?
Written response from the Mayor
Officers are working with LB Bromley to explore next steps for the Park following the expiry of the Exclusivity Agreement with ZRG. This will include revisiting elements of the Masterplan to take account of the current context including the existing Crystal Palace Park Act and address the affordability gap.

Questions tabled for 23rd February 2015 MQT

Crystal Palace Park exclusivity agreement (1)
Question No: 2015/0509
Darren Johnson (Green)
Now that the exclusivity agreement between Bromley Council and the ZhongRong Group has expired, will you work with the council to honour the findings of the consultation for the adopted masterplan, which showed overwhelming support for the hill top to be retained as an open green space with no development except something like a small museum or butterfly house?
Written response from the Mayor
The GLA is committed to helping Bromley Council secure a long term, sustainable future for the park. Following the recent expiry of the Exclusivity Agreement, we are discussing the next steps with the Council to ensure delivery of this objective.

Crystal Palace Park exclusivity agreement (2)
Question No: 2015/0510
Darren Johnson (Green)
Now that the exclusivity agreement between Bromley Council and the ZhongRong Group has expired, will you wait for discussions on the future governance of the park to conclude and any new arrangements to be put in place before entertaining any further exclusivity deals or tender processes for large-scale changes to the park and the masterplan?
Written response from the Mayor
The GLA is committed to helping Bromley Council secure a long term, sustainable future for the park, and this includes taking part in discussions about the future governance arrangements for the park as part of a wider discussion about next steps.

Crystal Palace NSC – swimming
Question No: 2015/0511
Darren Johnson (Green)
Do you believe families around Crystal Palace should lose their only heated area and dedicated family and training swimming pool, and do you think families and children should all share the colder area 50m pool in some way, as proposed in your consultation on the future of the National Sports Centre published last year?
Written response from the Mayor
Following the public consultation, further work is being done in conjunction with the swimming/diving community and local community groups to identify specific requirements. This will enable us to review the demands from water based activities and consider how they can be met from the National Sports Centre and other appropriate facilities.
National Sports Centre
Question No: 2015/0738
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Please give an update on the recent consultation on the future of the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park and outline the next steps, including how the project team intend to ensure all local stakeholders and local councillors are engaged in the process.
Written response from the Mayor
Following the public consultation, discussions are continuing with key sporting organisations/stakeholders, political bodies and local community groups. These discussions will help define the potential long term solution to deliver a long term sustainable future for the NSC.

Crystal Palace Park 1
Question No: 2015/0739
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
If a ‘deal’ with ZRG should fail to materialise, what further thoughts do you have on developing a realistic and practical approach to improving the park?
Written response from the Mayor
The GLA is committed to helping Bromley Council secure a long term, sustainable future for the park. Following the recent expiry of the Exclusivity Agreement, we are discussing the next steps with the Council to ensure delivery of this objective.
Crystal Palace Park 2
Question No: 2015/0740
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What consideration has been/will be given to development of a cross-borough/stakeholders partnership governance structure to ensure that the future of the park remains as a key local issue to be taken forward positively, particularly should a deal with ZRG prove unfeasible?
Written response from the Mayor
There is a five borough governance structure in place currently, with both Leader and officer meetings. However, consideration is currently being given as to how this might be developed, in the context of future sustainable governance arrangements for the park.

Questions tabled for 22nd October 2014 MQT

Advisory Board for the Crystal Palace Project
Question No: 2014/4079
Darren Johnson (Green)
You told me in answer to question 2014/2697 that a future meetings of this board was being organised “after the summer”. Can you tell me the date of the meeting?
Written response from the Mayor
The next meeting is scheduled for 3rd November 2014.

Crystal Palace
Question No: 2014/3853
Len Duvall (Labour)
When do you expect to see progress on the proposed development for Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
Negotiations are still ongoing between Bromley Council and ZhongRong Group in respect of a proposed development in Crystal Palace Park. This is therefore a matter for Bromley Council as landowner.

National Sports Centre consultation
Question No: 2014/3968
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
I am concerned that the current consultation on plans for the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park is only planned to run for three weeks, until the end of October. This is not sufficient time for such an important project and is not best practice for consultations. Why was it agreed to only consult for such a short time and will you consider extending this period to enable as many local residents and centre users to have their say?
Written response from the Mayor
It is clear from the extensive dialogue on all forms of media that people are fully aware of the consultation, engaged with it and keen to participate. With over 1000 responses so far, I am confident that the current timescale will enable people to participate fully and let us know their views.

Upper Norwood, Anerley and Penge study
Question No: 2014/3969
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
I have recently been contacted by an architecture firm who have told me that they have ‘been commissioned by the GLA to carry out a study into the area south of Crystal Palace Park (Upper Norwood, Anerley and Penge), investigating what is special and important about these neighbourhoods, with the intention of clarifying the area’s identity, and to inform possible ideas and visions for the future.’ The email gave just three days’ notice of a public consultation event to inform this ‘study’. Please can you explain why this study is being done now, what motivated it, and what specific outcomes you expect it to achieve?
Written response from the Mayor
The GLA has appointed architecture 00 to undertake an area study that explores future regeneration opportunities for the Crystal Palace area focussing on the three town centres. This is in part in response to feedback from previous consultation exercises that the area warrants on overall approach, beyond administrative boundaries.

The aims and objectives of the study were agreed with the five boroughs who cover the area. It is recording the area’s strengths including mapping the wealth of community organisations that are active. It will identify if gaps in policy and strategy exist as a result of the area sitting at the edge of five boroughs. It will also identify future regeneration opportunities as a basis for attracting future funding and ways in which the opportunities could be maximised by drawing on the strength of community engagement in the area.

The consultation is taking place throughout October and November.

Upper Norwood, Anerley & Penge study 2
Question No: 2014/3970
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What is the cost of this study to the GLA?
Written response from the Mayor
This study, running over six months, is costing £49,980.00.

Upper Norwood, Anerley & Penge study 3
Question No: 2014/3971
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Is this study in any way related to the proposals by Zhong Rong Group to redevelop Crystal Palace Park?
Written response from the Mayor
The core area for this study specifically excludes the park and proposals for developments within it, concentrating on the high street and industrial areas in the Crystal Palace area. Part of the background to the work is the potential for future development on the top site in the park and changes to the National Sports Centre, within the context of the proposed designation within the Future Alteration to the London Plan of Crystal Palace as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre.

Upper Norwood, Anerley & Penge study 3
Question No: 2014/3972
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Can you explain why the area ‘south of Crystal Palace Park’ has been identified as the subject for this study as opposed to other areas bordering the park?
Written response from the Mayor
The scope of the study was developed and agreed in consultation with representatives of the five boroughs adjoining the park. The area provided in the brief to the consultants was drawn around the high streets and industrial areas where there is some potential for change.

The areas to the north in Southwark and further east in Lewisham, though falling into the area of influence of the study, are largely established residential areas and are not part of the core area that the consultants are focusing on.

Bakerloo Consultation and Tramlink
Question No: 2014/3973
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
While I warmly welcome the current Bakerloo line consultation, I was somewhat dismayed to note that, amongst the background papers (paragraph 4.1.6) to the consultation documents, proposed extensions to Croydon Tramlink, including to Crystal Palace – a proposal that you are on record as supporting – seem to have been quietly dropped. Please confirm the current status of proposals to extend Tramlink to Crystal Palace.
Written response from the Mayor
The consultation report was misleading in this respect. An extension of Tramlink to Crystal Palace is still under active consideration.

Crystal Palace Park research visits
Question No: 2014/3976
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Have any GLA officers undertaken visits abroad to study parks elsewhere as part of the Crystal Palace park project. If so, which parks were/will be visited and will there be cost to the GLA?
Written response from the Mayor
No GLA officers have undertaken visits abroad to study parks elsewhere as part of the Crystal Palace project.

Questions tabled for 23rd July 2014 MQT

Advisory Board for the Crystal Palace Project
Question No: 2014/2697
Darren Johnson (Green)
Can you list the dates of all the meetings of this board to date, and any planned meetings in the future?
Written response from the Mayor
The Crystal Palace Advisory Board has met twice to date, on 30th January 2014 and 7th April 2014.

There is a future meeting being organised after the summer.

Crystal Palace Development
Question No: 2014/2862
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
There has been no up to date information put into the public arena  about the proposed land deal between ZRG and Bromley Council or the likely nature of the Planning application to be submitted –  for which you have publicly expressed enthusiasm.  To date the local community have little hard information on which to assess the merits or problems of a major development on the topsite at the Crystal Place Park.  Please set out what your staff’s expectations are now for the timetable on this application? When will it be submitted?  When can we expect to see a Transport impact assessment and when will the public in Bromley and the neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon and Lewisham be consulted?
Written response from the Mayor
Negotiations over the transfer of any land interests within the park are a matter for the London Borough of Bromley as landowner and ZRG. These discussions are commercially confidential.

Public engagement events, organised by ZRG’s representatives Arup, have already taken place.  More detailed public engagement is intended to take place, as well as formal public consultation, as a key part of the pre-planning and planning process.

The timetable for the completion of the transport impact assessment and the submission of the planning application is dependent on the outcome of discussions between the London Borough of Bromley and ZRG.

Questions tabled for 11 June 2014 MQT

Crystal Palace project – first contact
Question No: 2014/1800
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
When did you or GLA officers first discuss the proposed development on Crystal Palace Park with Mr Ni Zhaoxing or his agents?
Written response from the Mayor
I met Mr Ni Zhaoxing when he came here for the Olympic Games in 2012.  The Crystal Palace officer meetings began in February 2013.

Crystal Palace neighbourhood plan
Question No: 2014/1801
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Local residents are in the process of setting up a Neighbourhood Forum for Crystal Palace, and have secured the support of Locality, the Government’s contractor. Will you support this endeavour, share the work you are undertaking on planning policies in the area with the Forum, and work with the Forum on emerging plans for the park and the Strategic Outer London Development Centre?
Written response from the Mayor
We will share the work we are undertaking on planning policies and regeneration opportunities in the area and will engage with the Forum on emerging park plans and the SOLDC.

Crystal Palace Tramlink
Question No: 2014/2204
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
TfL have told me that “We have carried out initial feasibility work on the extension to Crystal Palace, but this is in the very early stages. The scheme is currently unfunded so further work also needs to be undertaken to identify potential funding opportunities”. How can you guarantee a scheme when you have not done a feasibility study and it is unfunded?
Written response from the Mayor
Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Crystal Palace development
Question No: 2014/1729
Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrats)
What discussions have you or TfL had with the developer Arup regarding the transport impacts of the proposed development at Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Questions tabled for 24 March 2014 MQT

Crystal Palace project consultation
Question No: 2014/1392
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
The consultation process for the masterplan for Crystal Palace Park included: 228,000 copies of Park News delivered through doors and 24,000 by post to stakeholders; 3,000 people attended workshops including 300 people at 13 black and ethnic minority group workshops.  There were an average of 1,000 unique visitors to the Crystal Palace Park website each month and over 3,000 schoolchildren and 250 parents were involved in the schools consultation.  280 individuals and organisations were involved as members of the dialogue process, taking part in regular meetings. In addition, smaller working groups included the museum task group and sports working group, as well as special workshops.  This extensive consultation was undertaken to ensure the masterplan that was submitted for planning approval reflected local views as much as possible.

By comparison, the fairly minimal consultation process being undertaken for the Crystal Palace Park project has been poorly organised, attracting a lot of animosity and bad will among local residents and community groups. Drop-in sessions and the questionnaire have given only superficial opportunities to feed into the proposals to date, and continue to offer very little information about what is actually proposed. The designs are being drawn up in a private architectural competition, and the community have been told they won’t be able to feed in to the design and decision making processes. This is particularly important given that the new proposals would not only affect the park, and deviate significantly from the agreed masterplan, but also have much greater impacts on the wider economy, transport network, ecology, house prices and more.

As Chair of the Advisory Board for the Crystal Palace Project, will you now commit to undertaking a consultation process that is at least as extensive as that for the park masterplan, informed by robust work on the local economy, transport network and ecology, before the ZhongRong Group submit their planning application?
Written response from the Mayor
As this is a proposal from the private sector, a team from Arup is leading on engagement activity on behalf of the developer and is being supported by advice and input from my officers. I am extremely encouraged that people are engaging so actively with the ongoing consultation process. I’m keen to see something that balances public appeal, facilities and attractions with the need to ensure the ongoing commercial sustainability of the building.

The Jury Panel – formed of members of my Advisory Board and other advisors – will provide ZRG with recommendations on the design selection process and the nature of the proposed building’s cultural offer.  During the third stage of the process, it is Arup’s intention that the public have the opportunity to discuss the emerging ideas with the 3 shortlisted artists. Public feedback will be passed onto the Advisory Board and ZRG. The architect competition process is primarily to select an architect to join the team. One of the criteria used in selecting the architect is their ability to engage with and respond to the public and key stakeholders.  The selection of the architect is therefore only the start of the design process and, as the scheme is developed further, the public will of course be able to provide further comments.

More events will be scheduled by Arup in due course. There is also a website http://www.thelondoncrystalpalace.com – where visitors can complete a questionnaire which includes space to comment or ask questions. It is in the developers interest to ensure that a full and inclusive consultation process allowing views to be shared on the full range of issues has been followed prior to the submission of a planning application and my officers are working closely with Bromley and Arup to ensure this is the case. Stakeholders will of course have the opportunity to comment during the formal planning application process.

Crystal Palace – Further Alterations to the London Plan
Question No: 2014/1393
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Thank you for your answers on questions 2014/0642-0644. Can you send me all of the work you have undertaken to assess the potential for (in the OLC’s terms) exogenous and endogenous growth in Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
Crystal Palace is uniquely positioned at the edge of five boroughs: Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. My officers are currently discussing with the five boroughs plans for the GLA to commission a regeneration study looking at the potential for growth in the context of the strategic significance of the area for culture, tourism and sport.

Development Proposal on Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2014/1431
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
You have signed an MOU (27 March 2013) with Bromley Council and ZhongRhong Group to agree to ‘work together with a view to facilitating the proposal’ for Crystal Palace Park.  Can you please explain exactly what you have agreed to support?
Oral response
I have welcomed Mr Ni’s proposal to invest £500m to rebuild the Crystal Palace and restore the Park. The ambition is to rebuild The Crystal Palace as a major new cultural destination for the capital on the site of the original Victorian building, which burned down in 1936. The Palace will build on the extraordinary history and character of the site and form an iconic centrepiece in the park, which will also be restored to its former glory.

The MOU provided a framework to progress future discussions, all of which are subject to contract and planning approval, and there have as yet been no specific proposals in respect of the design.  While I have welcomed the proposition, I acknowledge it is a complex and ambitious project that will benefit significantly from the input and involvement of the local community.  To steer the project, I have convened an Advisory Board that will guide the detailed design and plans for The Crystal Palace and park. The Board will also help to develop the detail of the cultural attractions aiming to create a unique experience for visitors and local residents alike. The aim is to ensure the plans are of the highest quality, sympathetic to this much-loved heritage site, sustainable and fit for the 21st century.

The architectural competition currently running has attracted the best of UK and international talent, so we should feel confident in the calibre of the future design.

Crystal Palace Architects Shortlist (1)
Question No: 2014/1353
Stephen Knight (Liberal Democrat)
What is the deadline for proposal submissions from the six shortlisted architects for the Crystal Palace scheme and when will your advisory board have reached a decision?
Written response from the Mayor
The deadline for proposal submissions from the six shortlisted architects for the Crystal Palace scheme is mid-April.  The Jury Panel – formed of members of my Advisory Board and other advisors – is meeting on 23rd April to consider these submissions.  The Advisory Board is not responsible for making the decision about which architects get shortlisted: this is ZRG’s decision.  However, the Advisory Board will provide ZRG with a recommendation.

Crystal Palace Architects Shortlist (2)
Question No: 2014/1354
Stephen Knight (Liberal Democrat)
What are your criteria for assessing the proposals from the shortlisted architects?
Written response from the Mayor
At this stage in the competition, the shortlisted architects are asked to explain their architectural approval for this project, their ability to deliver at this scale and complexity and their ability to present and exchange ideas.

In respect of design approval, the architects will be expected to provide an inspirational and innovative response to the challenge of ‘replicating the spirit and design integrity of the original Crystal Palace’, whilst also demonstrating understanding of the importance of context and historical precedence, in particular the relationship between the Palace and the Park. They will also have to demonstrate their commitment to the social, environmental and economic sustainability of this project, and their ability to engage with and respond to the public and key stakeholders.

In addition, each architectural team’s expertise, track record and ability to work collaboratively will be evaluated.

Crystal Palace Architects Shortlist (3)
Question No: 2014/1355
Stephen Knight (Liberal Democrat)
Will the choice of architect be the decision of your advisory board alone? Will there be any public consultation?
Written response from the Mayor
The Jury Panel – formed of members of my Advisory Board and other advisors – is not responsible for making the decision about which architect is chosen: this is ZRG’s decision.  However, the Advisory Board will provide ZRG with a recommendation.  During the third stage of the process in July, it is Arup’s intention that the public have the opportunity to discuss the emerging ideas with the three shortlisted artists.  Public feedback will be passed onto the Advisory Board and ZRG. Again, it will ultimately be ZRG’s decision which of the three architects is chosen and therefore which outline scheme is progressed further.

Crystal Palace Park (1)
Question No: 2014/1661
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
In your response to my previous question (2014/1252) about the consultation process for Crystal Palace Park you said that many of the concerns had been addressed. However further concerns have been raised with me about the consultation meeting on 1st March, as there was limited time for questions to be asked, what additional ways can people get answers to their questions about the plans?
Written response from the Mayor
The event on 1st March ran from 11:00 – 17:00 over two rooms, one of which was open and staffed at all times with representatives from Arup, the London Borough of Bromley and the GLA all of whom were on hand to answer questions during this time.  More events will be scheduled by Arup in due course where the local community will have further opportunities to ask questions.  There is also a website – http://www.thelondoncrystalpalace.com – where visitors can complete a questionnaire which includes space to comment or ask questions.

Crystal Palace Park (2)
Question No: 2014/1662
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
I was concerned to read that in your answer (2014/1251) you said that the cost of renovating Crystal Palace Park is rising and currently estimated to be £80 million. Why was this initially underestimated, and when will you know what the final price tag will be?
Written response from the Mayor
The cost of renovating Crystal Palace was not underestimated. It was calculated in 2008 when the masterplan received initial planning approval.  The subsequent high court challenge to the masterplan only concluded last year, when the planning approval was upheld.  Due to this five year delay, costs have understandably risen considerably, and the revised cost includes inflation.

Crystal Palace Redevelopment
Question No: 2014/1694
Steve O’Connell (Comservative)
What will be the main benefits of the new Crystal Palace Advisory Board that you have established?
Written response from the Mayor
I have invited the Advisory Board to help me address some key questions:

  • How to ensure the highest standards of architecture and landscape design are achieved and protected throughout the process to develop and implement plans for the Park, the NSC and the Palace.
  • How to ensure the different features within the Park come together to encourage a ‘great day out’ rather than just a visit.
  • How to attract and deliver a cultural attraction that will be of national significance and add to and not compete with London’s existing cultural offer.

Questions tabled for 26 February 2014 MQT

Crystal Palace – Further Alterations to the London Plan (1)
Question No: 2014/0642
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
You are proposing to designate Crystal Palace as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre. Is this in relation to the proposal to build on the top site?
Written response from the Mayor
Crystal Palace is uniquely positioned at the edge of five boroughs: Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. My officers are currently discussing with the five boroughs plans for the GLA to commission a regeneration study looking at the potential for growth in the context of the strategic significance of the area for culture, tourism and sport.

Crystal Palace – Further Alterations to the London Plan (2)
Question No: 2014/0643
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
You are proposing to designate Crystal Palace as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre. Does this encompass (a) the park, (b) the National Sports Centre, (c) the Crystal Palace “town centre” and (d) other neighbouring town centres such as Penge?
Written response from the Mayor
The precise extent of the area to be covered by the proposed Strategic Outer London Development Centre at Crystal Palace in FALP is subject to further work but it is likely to include the Park, the National Sports Centre, the Palace and relevant town centres.

Crystal Palace – Further Alterations to the London Plan (3)
Question No: 2014/0644
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
You are proposing to designate Crystal Palace as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre. Is this area identified for exogenous growth, to create new significant growth opportunities, or endogenous, to enhance existing growth trends?
Written response from the Mayor
In the terms developed by the Outer London Commission, the area has potential for both ‘exogenous’ growth providing a strategically significant new cultural destination for South London and ‘endogenous’ growth by restoring the wider park environment and complementing opportunities to strengthen nearby town centres.

Cycling in Crystal Palace Park (1)
Question No: 2014/0645
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
A constituent asked Bromley Council to make four quick fixes to paths and roads in Crystal Palace Park to make it better for cyclists, such as the provision of a small gap in speed bumps. But he was told by an officer that no infrastructure works can take place due to the exclusivity agreement with the ZhongRong Group. Will you ask the council and the ZhongRong Group to apply some common sense and flexibility in the operation of his exclusivity agreement, to ensure that small improvements like this can be implemented?
Written response from the Mayor
The GLA will make available funding for improvements to the park, as originally planned in the HLF bid, to look at short-term improvements.  It may be that these improvements could be considered as options for this spend, but the demands on the funding will be high, and the improvements will need to be justified in terms of their relationship to any full park restoration that could be achieved if the ZhongRong Group’s proposals are forthcoming.

Cycling in Crystal Palace Park (2)
Question No: 2014/0646
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
A constituent has complained that the roads through the part of the Crystal Palace Park owned by the GLA are badly potholed, and that potential through-routes for cyclists are blocked by locked gates at the eastern and north eastern entrances to the National Sports Centre where lockable bollards would suffice to block vehicular traffic. Will you look at these issues to improve the conditions for cycling through the park?
Written response from the Mayor
The road surface has deteriorated as a result of the recent bad weather. Where possible interim repairs have been undertaken and permanent repairs will take place when the weather allows.

The GLA will make available funding for improvements to the park, as originally planned in the HLF bid, to look at short-term improvements.  It may be that these improvements could be considered as options for this spend, but the demands on the funding will be high, and the improvements will need to be justified in terms of their relationship to any full park restoration that could be achieved if the ZhongRong Group’s proposals are forthcoming.

The gates are controlled by LB Bromley and are locked at times to deter anti-social behaviour.

Crystal Palace Park – MOU
Question No: 2014/1195
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Please publish the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the GLA, LB Bromley and ZRG in March 2013 concerning the development on the top site of Crystal Palace Park.
Written response from the Mayor
This will be made available on the Bromley Council website.

Crystal Palace Park. Transport impact
Question No: 2014/1196
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
When is it planned to undertake a transport impact assessment on the proposal to redevelop the top site on Crystal Place Park? How many car journeys would be generated by the Crystal Palace Park Development each day if the development were to go ahead?
Written response from the Mayor
I acknowledge this is a priority for local people having listened to feedback from the consultation sessions.

The consultant team will identify transport issues raised by the scheme early on and have already begun initial discussions with TfL and Tramlink. A Transport Assessment will be prepared alongside all the planning application documents after an architect has been appointed in Summer 2014. It will rely on detailed information on uses and activities within the building and therefore it will evolve as the proposals develop.

The new Crystal Palace should not have unacceptable impacts on the transport network and the potential impact on both the local highway network and the public transport network will be a key consideration throughout the design process.

Crystal Palace Park – Overseas Government Investment
Question No: 2014/1197
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Are you concerned that LB Bromley are allegedly proposing to let a large part of Crystal Palace Park’s public Metropolitan Open Lane to an overseas private developer for 125 years?  What scrutiny and public oversight will be in place to ensure the interests of the local community and public access to the park is protected for the entire length of this proposed lease period?
Written response from the Mayor
Crystal Palace Park is owned by the London Borough of Bromley and therefore the details of any land transaction related to the park is a matter for Bromley.  Any impact on Metropolitan Open Land will be fully and carefully considered in detail as part of the planning process.

Crystal Palace Park – Sub contracts and leases
Question No: 2014/1198
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What controls and scrutiny to protect the public interest will be in place over any sub-contractors  and sub lessees to  ZRG at Crystal Palace Park.
Written response from the Mayor
Crystal Palace Park is owned by the London Borough of Bromley and therefore the details of any land transaction and subsequent works related to the park is a matter for Bromley.

Crystal Palace Park – Potential Uses of Development
Question No: 2014/1199
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What commercial usages are being considered for the buildings at Crystal Palace Park top site? How are potential conflicts between what is planned and the planning restrictions currently imposed on this land going to be resolved?
Written response from the Mayor
It is very early days in the process, but suggested commercial uses could include a hotel and conference facilities, studios, galleries and other commercial space. These will be subject to a full, detailed planning process.

GLA funds for Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2014/1200
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Decision ADD39 in July 2013 indicated that the GLA would consider £1.95million of match funding to LB Bromley in the event of their Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Crystal Palace Park proving successful. Now that the bid has been rejected has this funding been withdrawn accordingly?
Written response from the Mayor
Although the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Crystal Palace Park was rejected, the GLA’s Investment and Performance Board has confirmed it will still allocate £1.95m match funding to support short-term improvements to the park, subkect to the approval of detailed proposals at stage 2.

GLA funds for Crystal Palace Park 2
Question No: 2014/1201
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
How much money has been made available by the GLA for the Crystal Palace Park project and from which budgets has this been allocated?
Written response from the Mayor
A total of £2,265,000 has been set aside for the Crystal Palace Park project, comprising:

£1,950,000 previously approved capital match funding for the HLF bid, now relocated for investment in the Park.

£190,000 capital and £125,000 revenue from GLA core budgets to support the project in 2014/15

Crystal Palace Park (1)
Question No: 2014/1250
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Have you read the results of the first questionnaire carried out by Arup at its consultation event? They are available on the London Crystal Palace website and show a majority favouring a museum, art gallery or visitor attraction rather than hotels and retail. What do you think of the findings of this initial consultation meeting?
Written response from the Mayor
Yes, I have read the results, and am extremely encouraged that people are engaging so actively with the ongoing consultation process. I’m keen to see something that balances public appeal, facilities and attractions with the need to ensure the ongoing commercial sustainability of the building, and my officers are working closely with Bromley and Arup to ensure this is the case. I assure you that we want to attract and deliver in Crystal Palace a cultural attraction that will be of national significance and add to and not compete with London’s existing cultural offer.

Crystal Palace Park (2)
Question No: 2014/1251
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Despite your own personal enthusiasm for the plans to build of a replica of Crystal Palace in Crystal Palace Park the findings of the consultation show respondents top three priorities were restoring the park, attracting locals and protecting heritage. Will you listen to these views even if they are different to your own stated view?
Written response from the Mayor
There is no reason why the views of local constituents and the aims for the renovated park should be being mutually exclusive. Restoring the park, attracting locals and protecting heritage are three of our long-stated goals for this project. However, the cost of renovating the park is rising and currently estimated to be £80 million. Therefore, significant investment needs to be generated to deliver the priorities of the public, and the findings of the consultation process, and we will keep this in mind as developments continue to progress.

Crystal Palace Park (3)
Question No: 2014/1252
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Are you aware of concerns raised about the initial consultation meeting about Crystal Palace Park in December, and what is your office’s involvement in the consultation process?
Written response from the Mayor
I am aware of the concerns that were raised. A team from Arup is leading on engagement activity on behalf of the developer and is being supported by my officers. I understand that the second consultation meeting on 1st February addressed many of the concerns around communication and presentation.

Approximately 350 people attended this meeting, with around 320 copies of the questionnaire completed online and on the day. There was representation from my officers at the event, as there will be at the next event on 1st March.

Questions tabled for 29 January 2014 MQT

Crystal Palace Park freehold
Question No: 2014/0080
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
The brochure for the Crystal Palace project states that “the park will remain in the freehold ownership of the London Borough of Bromley”. As Chair of the project advisory board, and guardian of Metropolitan Open Land in London, can you confirm that all of the land currently designated as Metropolitan Open Land including any built on by the developers would remain in the freehold ownership of the London Borough of Bromley?
Written response from the Mayor
Negotiations over the transfer of any interests within the park are a matter for discussions between the London Borough of Bromley and the proposed developer.

The impact of the proposals on Metropolitan Open Land is a matter for consideration through the planning process and will be considered by the borough and the GLA as appropriate.

Crystal Palace Park project and Metropolitan Open Land
Question No: 2014/0081
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
As Chair of the project advisory board, and guardian of Metropolitan Open Land in London, can you confirm that the project will not result in the net loss of functional Metropolitan Open Land, and that in making this assessment your calculations exclude the notional reintroduction of public access to land that is currently temporarily fenced off for safety concerns, and exclude the landscaping of land that is currently covered in hard surfaces such as car parking?
Written response from the Mayor
The impact of the proposals on Metropolitan Open Land is a matter for consideration through the planning process and will be considered by the borough and the GLA as appropriate.

Crystal Palace Park project trusts
Question No: 2014/0082
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
The brochure for the Crystal Palace project states that “the GLA and Advisory Board [which you chair] will ensure appropriate safeguards are in place” to protect community interests. If the Crystal Palace project establishes one or more trusts to own or manage any part of the project, will you commit to the local community having a controlling interest?
Written response from the Mayor
Free access to a fully restored park is an integral part of this. However, it is normal for public space to be owned and managed in a variety of ways, which successfully allow and encourage public access. There is potential for one or more trusts to successfully take on the responsibility for management of the park.

My officers are working with the borough and the developer’s team to ensure that local people are consulted in an open and inclusive manner as proposals for the park develop further. This will include consideration of the management options for the park.

Heritage and the Crystal Palace Park project
Question No: 2014/0083
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
What contact have you, your office or other officers in the GLA had with English Heritage regarding the Crystal Palace Park project?
Written response from the Mayor
A GLA officer joined a meeting between Arup and English Heritage to discuss the scheme in late 2013.

Heritage Lottery Fund decision on Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2014/0084
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
What contact have you, your office or other officers in the GLA had with the Heritage Lottery Fund regarding the bid for Crystal Palace Park, which was rejected due to the new Crystal Palace Park Project?
Written response from the Mayor
The bid for Crystal Palace Park was developed and submitted by London Borough of Bromley in August 2013, with support from my officers. In the time before a decision over the award was made, the proposal for the development of the top site was announced. Following this, my officers met and corresponded with the Heritage Lottery Fund to understand how the proposed investment from the developer might affect the bid. Furthermore, the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property wrote to the Heritage Lottery Fund in November in support of the bid.

While the bid was unsuccessful, HLF acknowledge that the bid had been strong but that the Crystal Palace Project represented the greater opportunity to deliver transformation of the important heritage asset.

Crystal Palace Park project Stage 1 report
Question No: 2014/0085
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
The paper for the Stage 1 business case approval for the Crystal Palace Park Regeneration Project is currently reserved. Further your recent commitments to increased transparency, will you release a partially redacted version of this paper for the public?
Written response from the Mayor
Yes.

Crystal Palace Park Memorandum of Understanding
Question No: 2014/0086
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
In the interests of transparency, will you publish the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the GLA, the London Borough of Bromley and the ZhongRong Group in March 2013, and send me a copy?
Written response from the Mayor
The Memorandum of Understanding will be publicly available on the Bromley Council website.

Questions tabled at previous MQTs

Crystal Palace – planning decision
Question No: 2013/3415
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Given that you have given your public backing to the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace, who would determine the planning application?
Written response from the Mayor
I have delegated consideration of the planning application to Sir Edward Lister, my Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning.

Crystal Palace – community involvement to date
Question No: 2013/3416
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
What contact did you or the rest of the GLA had with local community and business organisations regarding the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace prior to your announcement on the 3rd October? Please list organisations and dates.
Written response from the Mayor
My officers continue to hold informal meetings with a number of representatives of the Crystal Palace community, as well as participating in Bromley’s Executive Group of the Crystal Palace Park Management Board, which includes community representatives.

On 2 October the Board received the presentation from Arup on Mr Ni’s proposals, which also formed the basis of the press launch the following day.

I have delegated consideration of the planning application to Sir Edward Lister, my Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning.

Crystal Palace – assessments of impact
Question No: 2013/3417
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
What assessments had you undertaken, prior to your announcement on the 3rd October, of the impact of the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace on:
(a) the amenity of the park for local residents and visitors
(b) existing local infrastructure, including the transport network
(c) the local economy
(d) the development needs of the local area?
Written response from the Mayor
Through our work on the Masterplan for Crystal Palace Park and the extensive community involvement in that project, I am well versed on the issues listed here, not least the estimated costs of upwards of £80 million to implement the Masterplan.

GLA officers have been working with officers from the London Borough of Bromley and Arup (as Mr Ni’s representatives) since May to support the development of Mr Ni’s proposals for the reconstruction of the Crystal Palace.  Mr Ni has appointed Arup to develop an approach to the planning application, public engagement and the ‘content’ proposition for the Palace.  This is consolidated into a prospectus which was made public on the day of the launch in hard copy and on a website.

All parties acknowledged on 3 October that there’s a long way to go to realise Mr Ni’s ambition, but I do welcome the proposition and believe it marks an exciting new chapter for the Park and the area

Crystal Palace – future community involvement
Question No: 2013/3418
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
What is your strategy for community engagement and what is the schedule for consultation engagements on the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
The project is in its early stages and many of the details and design propositions still need to be worked out with local communities and other stakeholders but I expect Mr Ni’s team to begin a public engagement process well in advance of Christmas. We have suggested this is modelled on the engagement process for the Masterplan (which has received very positive feedback).

In addition to ongoing dialogue over the coming year, there will also be a formal consultation as part of the planning application process

Crystal Palace – advisory board
Question No: 2013/3419
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Will you create places on the advisory board for local community and business representatives?
Written response from the Mayor
In pulling together the Advisory Board, my intention is to bring together expertise in the fields of design and cultural attractions to help the Leader of the London Borough of Bromley and myself support and advise Mr Ni in the development of the proposal. The Advisory Board will not be decision making and is intended to sit alongside and often interface with a comprehensive engagement strategy which will need to fully involve the local community and business representatives. For this reason, I do not intend to involve these groups in the Advisory Board.

Crystal Palace – neighbourhood plan
Question No: 2013/3420
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Will you work with the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham to fund an evidence base and a neighbourhood planning exercise to identify the potential impact, problems and solutions associated with the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
Given the political landscape of the area surrounding the Crystal Palace site, together with the London Borough of Bromley, I have initiated cross boundary discussions with the five boroughs mentioned. It is my intention to support this with detailed work that considers the impact and opportunity created by the development for the area irrespective of political boundaries. This work has been initiated but is yet to be scoped in detail.

I have delegated consideration of the planning application to Sir Edward Lister, my Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning.

Crystal Palace – timetable
Question No: 2013/3421
Darren Johnson (Green Party)
Please give as much detail as possible about your timetable for developing the plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace.
Written response from the Mayor
The proposals are at a very early stage and a detailed programme will be developed over coming months and will rely on a range of factors. Nevertheless, the investor Mr Ni, and his team propose a full engagement process and a design competition will start before Christmas. Bromley Executive agreed on 16 October to enter into an exclusivity agreement with Mr Ni. Mr Ni’s team estimates that a planning application will be submitted in the autumn of 2014, with which means construction could start in winter 2015 and The Crystal Palace could open in 2018.

Crystal Palace Park
Question No: 2013/3873
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Please outline what involvement Transport for London and Network Rail have had so, in the proposals to rebuild the Crystal Palace, with regard to public transport capacity in the area.
Written response from the Mayor
My officers have briefed TfL colleagues on the proposals to rebuild the Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace Park 2
Question No: 2013/3874
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Please indicate how Transport for London and Network Rail will be engaged in the discussions regarding the proposals to rebuild the Crystal Palace.
Written response from the Mayor
A meeting is in the diary between Transport for London and Mr Ni’s team to scope out the work required to assess and develop mitigations for any transport impact of the proposals. Network Rail will then be pulled in to this impact assessment work.

Crystal Palace Park 1
Question No: 2013/4331
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
What are the outcomes so far of meetings held between TfL and the developers regarding the proposed rebuild of Crystal Palace?
Written response from the Mayor
As noted in my response MQ4333 / 2013, to date general briefings have taken place between GLA officers and TfL officers.  Meetings are diarised between TfL and Arup, acting on Mr Ni’s behalf, before the end of November to determine the implications of any potential tram proposals and the scope of the transport assessment.

Crystal Palace Park 2
Question No: 2013/4332
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
When will residents in the Crystal Palace area be given the opportunity to comment on proposals for the rebuild of the Crystal Palace? Will it be before Christmas?
Written response from the Mayor
Yes, the engagement process led by Arup is scheduled to begin before Christmas.

Crystal Palace Park 3
Question No: 2013/4333
Valerie Shawcross (Labour)
Please list the meetings which have been held or are going to be held between Transport for London, your office and the developers for Crystal Palace Park.
Written response from the Mayor
Officers at TfL have been briefed in general on the proposals for Crystal Palace Park as part of regular meetings between TfL and the Regeneration Team at the GLA.  Two specific meetings are in the diary to take place before the end of November: to discuss the potential for a tram extension to Crystal Palace and to discuss in detail the scoping of the transport assessment that Arup will need to carry out as part of the development of the proposals.

Crystal Palace (1)
Question No: 2013/4365
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Will you make sure that despite your own personal enthusiasm for the plans to build of a replica of Crystal Palace in Crystal Palace Park, there is no risk of predetermination in the planning and promotion of the scheme?
Written response from the Mayor
Notwithstanding Section 25 of the Localism Act, I will delegate my planning powers relating to a future application on this site, in order to avoid any allegation of predetermination.

Crystal Palace (2)
Question No: 2013/4366
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Will you provide your recommendations on how the ‘duty to cooperate’ (under the Localism Act) should be enacted by Bromley Council and the Developers to create a cohesive and strategic cross boarder consultation approach for the plans to redevelop Crystal Palace Park?
Written response from the Mayor
The ‘duty to cooperate’ requirement set out in the Localism Act relates to the preparation of development plan documents rather than individual planning applications and does not apply to developers. However, I would expect the developer to engage proactively with adjoining councils and communities in preparing its proposals. Similarly I would expect Bromley Council to consult adjoining councils and communities on any subsequent application. This dialogue has already begun with meetings to discuss the proposals between the five boroughs at both officer and political level.

Crystal Palace (3)
Question No: 2013/4367
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Do you support the current extent of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and its protection from development having an adverse impact on the openness of MOL and will you outline what very special circumstances would allow for this to be overruled?
Written response from the Mayor
The current extent of Metropolitan Open Land at Crystal Palace was established by a planning inspector following the last Unitary Development Plan Inquiry in 2003 and benefits from protection, equivalent to Green Belt, as set out in my London Plan. Any proposals for inappropriate development should not be approved except in very special circumstances. By definition such circumstances would be unique to the proposal put forward in each case and therefore cannot be identified in advance.

Crystal Palace (4)
Question No: 2013/4368
Fiona Twycross (Labour)
Does you believe the iconic and spectacular views from and to the Crystal Palace Ridge (on both aspects) should be designated as part of the London View Management Framework?  Currently these two views appear not to be considered to be in the London Plan.
Written response from the Mayor
The London View Management Framework (LVMF) identifies strategic views to be managed. They are views from places that are publicly accessible and well used and represent either a panorama across substantial parts of London, views from an urban space or a building or group of buildings within a townscape setting (including narrow linear views to a defined object) or broad prospects along the River Thames. Views from the Norwood ridge do not meet these criteria. However, Bromley Council has designated Crystal Palace as a Major Skyline Ridge and a View of Local Importance, which are protected by policy BE18 of the Unitary Development Plan.