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Crystal Palace 'minority' offers alternative to Ritchie

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Agenda 21 Architects has joined a long-running campaign to try and block Ian Ritchie's designs for a £60 million cinema and retail complex on Crystal Palace Park in south east London.

The architect has been signed up to produce alternative plans for a smaller subterranean complex on the park. The move is an attempt to inject new life into a campaign which has already lost one judicial review against the Ritchie scheme and is lobbying against a scheme which has already been awarded planning permission.

Now leaders from the local residents' campaign hope to lure the scheme's developer, London & Regional Properties (l&r), away from the Ritchie plan to Agenda 21's lower-profile alternative at the other end of the park.

The alternative features a six-screen rather than 18-screen cinema and is located on the existing National Sports Centre site. The campaign proposes that all accommodation is underground to be 'as unobtrusive as possible', according to spokesman John Payne. The campaign claims that it has taken its new proposals to 'senior government levels' and Conservative mayoral candidate Steven Norris said last week that he would be likely to call the scheme in for scrutiny if local public opinion is set against it.

l&r has yet to be shown designs for the Agenda 21 scheme and its director, Geoff Springer, said that plans to build the original scheme are pressing ahead, saying the campaign represented a vocal minority.

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