High Court allows privatisation of Public Park
The Open Spaces Society is dismayed that the High Court has ruled that part of Crystal Palace Park in the London Borough of Bromley can be sacrificed for commercial development.
His Honour Mr Justice Keith has rejected an appeal from the Crystal Palace Community Association against the London Development Agency’s Crystal Palace Park Masterplan. This includes the sale of protected public parkland for 180 private luxury apartments on Grade II* registered Metropolitan Open Land.
Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society which opposed the plans at the public inquiry in 2009: ‘We are angry that a chunk of this unique park is to be flogged off for private gain. It is designated Metropolitan Open Land and therefore should be protected from development.
‘The judge claimed that there were “very special circumstances which were sufficient to outweigh the very strong presumption against development on such land”. We strongly disagree: this is a very special park and there can be no circumstances in which it should be developed for private use. The LDA claims that the sale will help to fund its £68-million redevelopment plan, but you can’t justify the sale of open space purely to fund regeneration.
‘We were pleased to support the Crystal Palace Community Association, an excellent group and a member of the society, in its court action and hope that it will be able to appeal against this ruling,’ Kate declares.