MD1568 Crystal Palace National Sports Centre – Site for Skate Park

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD1568
Date signed: 
03 March 2016
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

As part of a programme of investment in Crystal Palace Park, one project is the creation of a skate park. The preferred location is within the boundary of the National Sports Centre, which is leased to GLA Land & Property Ltd from the LB of Bromley. The proposal is to surrender part of the NSC landholding, to enable LB Bromley to take direct control of the skate park project.

 

Decision

That the Mayor approves the disposal of GLA Land & Property Ltd's interest in part of the National Sports Centre demise to enable LB Bromley to deliver the skate park project. The land will be surrendered for the consideration of £1 and both parties will be responsible for their own legal costs.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA inherited the National Sports Centre (NSC), Crystal Palace from the LDA in 2012. 

1.2    The NSC is located within the wider Crystal Palace Park, which is owned and managed by LB Bromley. The NSC site is leased by LB Bromley to GLA Land & Property Ltd (GLAP) for a term of years, expiring in 2131.  

1.3    The GLA has agreed to provide £2m funding to LB Bromley for investment in a number of capital projects within the park and this was covered in a paper to IPB on the 19th March 2015. An outline budget of £400,000 of the £2m is allocated to the skate park project and this was authorised by MD1462.

1.4    Following a community conference in 2011, a “10 Point Plan” was developed as a first phase of major improvements to the park. Subsequently, through various reviews and public consultation, an agreed list of projects has been produced and work has commenced on the implementation of these projects, one of which is a skate park.

1.5    As a result of an appraisal carried out by specialist consultants, the preferred site for the skate park is an area of land which currently forms part of the NSC demise. Limited use is made of the land in question and it has been illegally occupied on several occasions in the past. The latest incident was successfully resolved in August this year. It is not seen as important for the ongoing operation of the NSC.

1.6    As the land is not seen as important to the NSC and has been identified as the preferred site for the skate park, it is felt that greater use would be made of it by allowing the skate park to be constructed there.

1.7    As the skate park will be developed and subsequently managed by LB Bromley, it is appropriate for GLAP to enter a legal agreement to surrender this area of land back to LB Bromley, enabling them to undertake the skate park project. 

1.8    The GLAP landholding will reduce by 0.94 hectares as a result of this transaction.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The surrender of this area of land will facilitate the implementation of the skate park project, which forms part of a wider plan of capital improvements to Crystal Palace Park, being partly funded by the GLA.

2.2    A surrender is the most straightforward way of allowing this project to proceed and removes any ongoing liability for the GLA.

 

Equality comments

3.1    Advice has been taken and it is not thought that there are any equality issues in this case.

 

Other considerations

4.1    There is no reason for GLAP to retain an interest in this land as it is not important for the operation of the NSC.

4.2    The Mayor is fully supportive of the planned improvements to Crystal Palace Park and surrendering this land to enable the skate park project to proceed endorses this support.

4.3    As the project will be the responsibility of LB Bromley, there is no risk to the GLA in the event of cost overruns etc.

4.4    In the unlikely event that the project does not proceed, the land will remain with GLAP and will continue to form part of the NSC.

 

Financial comments

5.1    The area earmarked for the Skate Park is within the boundary of the National Sports Centre, which is leased to GLA Land & Property Ltd from the LB Bromley.

5.2    This paper proposes to transfer this land back to LB Bromley for the development of the Skate Park, for the consideration of £1. LB Bromley will bear all risks of the development with no ongoing liabilities for the GLA.

5.3    There are no financial implications for the GLA arising from this transaction apart from legal costs, which will be contained within the Estates Crystal Palace budget.

5.4    The site is designated Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). With regards to MOL, London Plan policy 7.17 affords MOL the strongest protection in line with that afforded to the Green Belt and states that inappropriate development should be refused, except in very special circumstances. Essential ancillary facilities for appropriate uses will only be acceptable where they maintain the openness of the MOL. In light of this designation, it is felt that development for commercial purposes would be strongly resisted and that the proposed use is appropriate and will reduce the GLA’s exposure to unauthorised occupation, as well as marginally reducing the grounds maintenance costs.

 

Investment and Performance Board

7.1    This matter has not been referred to IPB but was discussed at HIG on the 14th October 2015. 

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Finalise and execute surrender documentation

January 2016

Appendices and supporting papers

Aerial photograph – The land hatched yellow is the subject of this MD (attached to the signed MD)