OLD CRYSTAL PALACE SHOULD NOT BE DISCARDED
The public was encouraged to vote for a modern 'state of the art' all-inclusive sports building at Crystal Palace. Exhibitions and local meetings, that I attended, encouraged thoughts of a 'perfect' new building, which would be low maintenance and would feature ideal facilities.
The public vote in favour of the new building is not surprising, but your report on the existing grade II-listed building, (AJ 13.04.05), feeds on the negative propaganda.
The reality is that the existing high diving pool, the only one in London, will not be replaced. This fact was not made clear at the public exhibitions, but was speci-cally referred to in a separate London Development Agency report on the project (Crystal Palace Planning Framework, October 2005). Both the report and a meeting selected a 1967 issue of the AJ to quote from - using the negative bits only.
The new pool is to be tucked away under the raked seating of the new sports stadium. It is therefore very unlikely to be light and airy. The new building will not be maintenance free, and will be a capital outlay greatly exceeding the upgrading, and making good of missing years of maintenance to the existing buildings. It may also be in competition with the East London Olympic Pool.
The old building could have an alternative use as a museum and international restaurant, if not as a national swimming and high-diving pool.
Peter Somers, Sydenham