London’s iconic Crystal Palace Park is a special place for us all. Bromley Council has recently put forward proposals for redevelopment, including the building of new houses. We welcome the much needed investment in the park - suffering from years of neglect by the
Council. But we are unhappy that the plan - backed by Tory and Labour councillors - will build on open land, will cut down the amount of public green space and significantly increase traffic with nearly 600 event car parking spaces, all whilst building only 28 affordable homes for the area.
Bromley Lib Dems have 3 main concerns with the proposals:
- Congestion - the plans do not encourage the use of public transport. Higher levels of car use will increase traffic in the area.
- Loss of open land and tree felling - the proposed residential development could lead to the loss of precious metropolitan open land green spaces and the felling of ancient trees that are vital for our local wildlife.
- Lack of affordable homes - there is a drought of affordable homes in Bromley. Out of 210 planned homes only 24 will be affordable. This is an unacceptably low number.
The proposals suggest building 124 new car parking spaces (only 11 accessible), with a whopping 687 available on event days at the park. Encouraging event goers to drive to the park will cause havoc and major disruptions to the local community and make traffic significantly worse - it is completely out of step with green initiatives to reduce traffic and improve air quality. Instead, we believe Bromley Council should be investing in active travel and encouraging the use of public transport links to reach the park.
Open land will be lost to high density residential use for the new developments being proposed. This loss of public green space is concerning. Rather than building hundreds of new car parking spaces the council could instead use these areas as new green spaces to offset the loss brought about by the proposed development. Further on event days an extra 500+ cars in the actual park will significantly reduce the park available for local people.
When building new homes, we believe that a focus on affordable housing is vital. Bromley Council has built only 9 new council houses since 2016. With the lack of affordable housing for young people in the area, it is alarming that out of a development of 210 new houses, only 24 will be affordable.
Local Lib Dem Campaigner Suraj Gandecha said: “I have real concerns that local people haven't been fully consulted and informed about these plans, and are unaware that the future of the park lies in the hands of an unelected trust."