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Just deserts

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Bad luck seems to have dogged the proposal to create an entertainment complex at Crystal Palace since architect Ian Ritchie quit the project (when the client tried to dumb it down). Having won a planning permission and successfully fought a High Court battle to fend off reactionary objectors to his brilliant glazed pavilion, Ritchie could be forgiven for a quiet gloat over the troubles afflicting London & Regional Properties and the replacement architect, RHWL. The protestors found a new stick to beat the scheme with last autumn: no environmental impact assessment. This prompted a European Commission inquiry to Bromley council, asking why a permission was given without such an assessment. Now Costain, the contractor lined up to build the £75 million cinema complex, says: 'As far as we are concerned, it has gone dead.'

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