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Ritchie's Crystal Palace gets Prescott planning boost

Ian Ritchie's leisure development at Crystal Palace looks set to get planning permission after the DETR declined to call in the project last week. The £60 million project for London & Regional Properties, on the site of Paxton's original Crystal Palace, has still to be approved by Bromley's planning committee, but since Bromley is one of the promoters of the scheme, that should not be a problem.

The scheme, which will make great use of inclined planes of glass, and will include restaurants and a multiplex cinema, plays a crucial role in the feasibility of the project to redevelop Crystal Palace park itself, to designs by Kathryn Gustafsen, John Lyall and Alan Baxter. The Heritage Lottery Fund is due to decide on Thursday whether to grant the project £28 million. Matching funding will include a £6 million premium paid by London & Regional towards the cost of its site, plus a further £2 million donation. Robbie Stoakes, director of leisure and community services, said: 'This park is of national and international importance.'

Bromley also has feasibility funding from the Sports Lottery Fund for Arup Associates to pursue its designs for a £40 million redevelopment of the national sports centre, which at present cuts the site in two.

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