by Peter Parker in a letter to the Croydon Advertiser 070700
SOME unpleasant sounds have been coming out of Bromley recently about the proposed multiplex In Crystal Palace Park.
First, we had Conservative MP Jacqui Lait saying the Crystal Palace Campaign represented only a small minority. Tell that to the 20,000 people who signed our petition against the multiplex (she goes on to stigmatise those who do not actually live in Bromley borough, and yet stand to be grossly affected by the development).
Hearken also Bromley Council, which does not dare to have a ballot or referendum on the matter. How about, "All those who live within a mile radius of the park - yes or no to the multiplex as proposed"? It could be as simple as that. Bromley simply hasn't the stomach for it.
Then we have joint leader of Bromley Council, Chris Maines, crowing on Newsroom South East about their performance in the courts -- a prime example of how the law can be used as a refuge.
The fact remains that no environmental assessment was ever carried out. The multiplex still contravenes government policy on Terminal Destinations. Local people were not consulted in time: and the style of Joseph Paxton's original has been taken to the cleaners.
I think it was St Paul who said "The letter of the law kills: the spirit gives life."
Finally, at a recent Bromley Council meeting, Chris Gaster, chair of leisure and community services, had the gall to describe Crystal Palace campaigners (I speak as one of many in flats in Anerley) as "a few loud mouths from big houses in Dulwich".
This is the same man reported in a local newspaper (Kentish Times 15/06/00) as saying, "Residents (around the park) should have been consulted when plans for the £55 million development were being drawn up... They should have been consulted as a whole at that time, instead of concentrating on various organisations."
The whole multiplex issue is a salient example of flagrant high handedness. Shame on those responsible.
PETER J V ARCHER
Last Updated 21/009/00