Expressing his “implacable opposition” to the proposed 20–screen multiplex in Crystal Palace Park, London Mayor Ken Livingstone today announced his “formal support” for the massive campaign developing against the application for 14 liquor licences in the multiplex by developer London and Regional Properties (L&RP).

Speaking at Greater London Assembly Question Time, Mr Livingstone said that both his office and the Greater London Authority (GLA) would be “involved in proceedings” against the 14 liquor licences. He added that so many licences “begins to sound suspiciously like the worse aspects of living in Soho”. It was inappropriate for a tranquil and “sensitive site” like Paxton’s historic Crystal Palace Park.

Fred Emery, Crystal Palace Campaign, spokesman commented:

“We welcome the mayor’s formal support for our next push to halt not just the licences but the multiplex in any shape or form. It is a scandal that Bromley Council, having ridden roughshod over local opposition without meaningful consultation, should press ahead. They know that were they to apply today for planning permission it would be rejected by the Mayor, yet Bromley rely solely on having granted permission before the mayor took office. This, despite the Mayor’s and the GLA’s more recent and overwhelming London–wide electoral mandate, compared with miniscule majorities in Bromley’s council wards.”

At the November 27 and 28 Bromley magistrates’ hearing on the drinks licence applications, CPC are leading a powerful legal challenge, representing tens of thousands of residents from the adjacent five boroughs. The objections were also supported today by Val Shawcross, (GLA Lambeth & Southwark, Lab) who said Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich & W Norwood, was also continuing her objections.

Answering a question from Darren Johnson (GLA Green), Mr Livingstone stated he was sure that following Bromley’s recent final approval “battle will be renewed” by the massive local campaign. The Mayor deplored recent design changes following the departure of the original architect Ian Ritchie. As often happened, he said, “as soon as planning permission has been agreed, they get involved in something much more cheapskate, a cut price operation …I think the people have been cheated by Bromley Council and the developer”.

Mayor Livingstone further declined to confirm that Bromley had not acted unlawfully over the multiplex approval when invited to do so by Bob Neill (GLA Bexley & Bromley, Con). Instead the mayor implied the opposite. The Mayor disclosed that he had taken legal advice but “at this late stage” it was that any GLA challenge to Bromley’s planning approval “wouldn’t be successful”, which he deeply regretted.


Press Officer: Fred Emery 020 8761 0076 Mobile: 0794 117 2023
All Correspondence to: Hon Secretary, 33 HogarthCourt, Fountain Drive, London SE19 1UY
Recorded Information: 020 8653 5995 E-mail: fred@syre.demon.co.uk
Website: www.crystal.dircon.co.uk

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18 Oct 2000 Last updated 18 Oct 2000