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Mayoral trio slam Ritchie's Crystal Palace multiplex

The leading candidates for London Mayor have attacked plans for a 20- screen multiplex on Crystal Palace Park designed by Ian Ritchie Architects.

To an audience of local residents, Trevor Phillips, who represented Frank Dobson, Ken Livingstone, and Green Party candidate Darren Johnson all said the plans, being developed by London and Regional, are unacceptable, despite the fact that planning permission has already been awarded for the £60 million project.

Livingstone said: 'There is no justification for consuming any of the remaining green space that exists in London.' He added that if he wins next week's elections in the capital he would give Johnson, who he has hinted may become his deputy, the resources 'to go through every clause and dot and comma in the legislation. If we can stop it we will stop it'.

Phillips said: 'I believe that if we cannot get the protection we need, we have no alternative but to say to developers, in this case London and Regional, if you do not want this to be the last development you ever make in London, then you need to talk to the community, you need to rethink your ideas.'

Around 1000 local residents heard the candidates speak on the plans, which have already been given the go-ahead by the Borough of Bromley.

Meanwhile, with just a week to go before London voters go to the polls to select the mayor, the designers of the headquarters of the Greater London Assembly have hit back over criticisms of their plans by the main candidates.

Spencer de Grey, partner at Foster & Partners, told the aj last week that fears the building will be ostentatious are based on misunderstanding.

Foster & Partners' glass bubble design for the south side of London Bridge has been described as 'grandiose' and 'exclusive' and being 'right site, wrong building' by Susan Kramer and Steven Norris, respectively. Frank Dobson's deputy, Trevor Philips, raised doubts about the design and Ken Livingstone claimed the building may be too expensive (aj 6.4.00).

'They say these things because they don't know much about the building and we'd be happy to give them a more detailed briefing,' said de Grey. 'It will be an important symbol of a new political era. I don't think the mayor should be hiding away - that is a very British way of thinking.'

Norris and Kramer have both hinted that they would prefer the use a conversion of an existing building as their headquarters, but, despite their objections, construction on the gla building has already started at its London Bridge City site. The building is being developed by cit Group and the government has signed a 25-year lease fixed for seven years at £4.75 million a year

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