Residents annoyed as sections of Crystal Palace Park closed off – South London News

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

Residents are “peeved” and “annoyed” after parts of a nearby park have been closed by the council over safety concerns.

Sections of Crystal Palace Park have been blocked off by barriers after pillars supporting the floodlights of the National Sports Centre were found to be unsafe.

On Sunday, Bromley council said in a statement that Crystal Palace Park was temporarily closed, after the Greater London Authority had told it that the pillars supporting the floodlights at the National Sports Centre were not safe.

Crystal Palace park 1Crystal Palace Park, shown with barriers blocking off sections of the park near the National Sports Centre (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

Shortly afterwards, the council said that the park had re-opened, with barriers in place near the sports centre.

The centre was first closed on Friday of last week, according to an announcement made by Greenwich Leisure Limited, saying that the space would likely stay shut during the start of the following week.

Leonard Faith, a resident of Crystal Palace, said the barriers would force him to walk in other parts of the area instead, and wondered if the closure was due to the decline of the centre.

He said: “The only thing I’m wondering about is whether it’s due to lack of maintenance.

“How much is this due to neglect? The sports centre has been in a bit of a decline, so I’m wondering whether it’s just part of the general degradation.”

Park Closure Sign BromleyPark Closure Sign BromleyA sign from Bromley council from Sunday about the temporary closure of Crystal Palace Park (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

A spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority (GLA), who are responsible for the sports centre, said that they were committed to a “comprehensive renovation” of the space.

They said contractors had been appointed for planning the works and that a “significant” capital investment had been set aside for the scheme.

The spokeswoman said: “It is anticipated that a construction schedule will be announced in the early months of 2023.

“The GLA is keeping in close contact with local stakeholders and centre users as plans are developed.”

A Bromley council spokesman said the park opened about two hours later than usual on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority (GLA) said: “The GLA has temporarily closed all of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre after discovering that the pillars supporting the floodlights at the stadium are not safe.

“Due to this urgent safety issue, and the requirement to maintain exclusion zones around each of the floodlights, Bromley council has also needed to close some sections of Crystal Palace Park.

“The GLA recognises that this is very frustrating for all users of the site. We apologise for this disruption and are urgently working with the centre operator and Bromley council on minimising the impacts of the closures.”

Pictured top: Leonard Faith, who regularly uses Crystal Palace Park, shown with the National Sports Centre in the background (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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