The consultation process for the masterplan for Crystal Palace Park included: 228,000 copies of Park News delivered through doors and 24,000 by post to stakeholders; 3,000 people attended workshops including 300 people at 13 black and ethnic minority group workshops. There were an average of 1,000 unique visitors to the Crystal Palace Park website each month and over 3,000 schoolchildren and 250 parents were involved in the schools consultation. 280 individuals and organisations were involved as members of the dialogue process, taking part in regular meetings. In addition, smaller working groups included the museum task group and sports working group, as well as special workshops. This extensive consultation was undertaken to ensure the masterplan that was submitted for planning approval reflected local views as much as possible.
By comparison, the fairly minimal consultation process being undertaken for the Crystal Palace Park project has been poorly organised, attracting a lot of animosity and bad will among local residents and community groups. Drop-in sessions and the questionnaire have given only superficial opportunities to feed into the proposals to date, and continue to offer very little information about what is actually proposed. The designs are being drawn up in a private architectural competition, and the community have been told they won't be able to feed in to the design and decision making processes. This is particularly important given that the new proposals would not only affect the park, and deviate significantly from the agreed masterplan, but also have much greater impacts on the wider economy, transport network, ecology, house prices and more.
As Chair of the Advisory Board for the Crystal Palace Project, will you now commit to undertaking a consultation process that is at least as extensive as that for the park masterplan, informed by robust work on the local economy, transport network and ecology, before the ZhongRong Group submit their planning application?