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Crystal balls

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It is scarcely surprising that Ian Ritchie has taken exception to the attitude of Bromley Council over his glass pavilion design at Crystal Palace (which already has planning permission). Bromley, it seems, will allow any alteration to the scheme - provided it does not affect the council's financial take.

Ritchie fought and won a High Court battle over whether or not his architecture was in the spirit of Joseph Paxton's original, and bore the brunt of a vicious campaign by local opponents who are worried that the park will be used by the public at large rather than them and their dogs. The client, London & Regional Properties, showing all the integrity for which the development world is famous, seems intent on dumbing down the project, not least by bringing in new architects and contractors when Ritchie refused to compromise on standards and the project went design-and-build. I imagine that the opponents of the scheme (and English Heritage) will be looking closely to see if any design changes jeopardise the existing planning consent.

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