Mayor launches consultation to transform Crystal Palace sports centre

06 October 2014

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, is calling on local residents and users of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace to contribute their views on redevelopment plans to improve its sporting, recreational and educational facilities and secure its long term future in the heart of south London.


The 1960’s grade II listed sports centre and historic stadium, much of which is now underused and in poor condition, was taken on by the Mayor in 2012 when the centre transferred from the London Development Agency to the Greater London Authority.


The new plans aim to unlock the future potential of the site and restore it as a first class community asset. The new plans would dramatically improve the public space around the sports centre by restoring the original (Joseph) Paxton Axis to the front of the building and making it more accessible through the park.


A redesigned interior would preserve the original Olympic sized swimming pool, with a modernised health and fitness suite overlooking the park, and a ground floor reception, café, soft play facility, and climbing wall, linking to outdoor terracing, and playground.


In line with the Mayor’s manifesto commitment to use public assets to secure sites for ten free schools, a two-form entry primary school, and a new Capel Manor College building are among a number of possibilities being explored around the stadium site, alongside new landscaping and the option to maintain the athletics tracks.


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to reclaim one of London’s greatest sporting assets to benefit the local community and beyond. Set within the stunning Crystal Palace Park, and extremely well-connected since the birth of London Overground, the regeneration of this historic site will ensure its lasting legacy as a visitor attraction and centre of sporting and educational excellence, creating much needed regeneration in the heart of south London.”


The plans are designed to improve the wider park environment, which is managed by the London Borough of Bromley, and complement a £2.4 million improvement package announced in the summer as well as regeneration proposals to rebuild The Crystal Palace and restore the park.


Councillor Stephen Carr, Leader of Bromley Council said, “The National Sports Centre is strategically important in many ways and plans which secure its future are to be welcomed. This consultation is also welcome so that local people can express their views and I would encourage them to do so. In the context of the park, although these proposals are separate from the proposal to rebuild The Crystal Palace and restore the park, they complement and naturally sit alongside the ZhongRong Group proposal. Especially in this context, the proposal to restore the so-called Paxton central axis is welcome as this brings almost separate parts of the park together, which is more in line with the original Paxton vision. We will continue to work to improve and secure the long term future of the park and negotiations and discussions with ZRG are continuing and need to remain confidential for now but when we can say more about this, we will.”


Local residents, users of the sports centre, and members of the general public are invited to feed into the consultation from today via an online survey.


A public exhibition will open in the entrance to the centre on 13th October, and consultation sessions will run on 16th and 18th October. 

Notes to editors

1. CSM Strategic, with FMG Consulting and GT Architects, has come up with several ideas to redevelop the main sports centre and stadium site.

2. For more information please visit:

3. The consultation is open until the 16th November and people can have their say by:

• Reading the consultation paper and taking our brief survey here:

• Visiting the public exhibition on the plans. This will be taking place in the entrance to the sports centre from the 13th October to 16 November. Paper copies of the survey will be available at the exhibition

• Telling us what they think at two sessions (16th 17.00 to 21.00 pm or 18th 09.30 to 17.00) where staff from GLA and consultants will be present

4. The proposals are part of a wider regeneration plan for the Crystal Palace Park area. In August 2014, the Mayor of London and Bromley Council announced a range of improvements to the landscape and built heritage in Crystal Palace Park, as well as improvements to visitor facilities as part of a £2.4 million improvement programme.

5. The improvements would complement separate proposals from the ZRG Group to rebuild Crystal Palace. ZRG have been working with Arup to initiate an architectural competition and have six of the world’s best architects lined up to progress to the next stage of the selection process. They are also involved in detailed negotiations with Bromley Council around an appropriate land deal which would enable them to progress further work on the planning application for the site.

6. The Crystal Palace National Sports Centre site is part of 670 hectares of public land taken on by the Mayor in 2012, 87 per cent of which has now been fast tracked into development and regeneration. No new homes are planned for the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre site.

7. The London Athletics Grand Prix has moved to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

8. The Mayor of London is committed to supporting the Free School programme to increase the number of exceptional schools and provide more school places in the capital. The Mayor has provided GLA land for 10 Free Schools already and will continue to make more sites available where possible.