An exclusivity agreement between a Chinese developer and Bromley Council to invest £500million in rebuilding Crystal Palace park expired on Sunday.
The deal was signed in October 2013 after talks between the council, the Greater London Authority and Mayor Boris Johnson, and would have seen the ZhongRong Group rebuild the structure and restore the park.
However the 16-month exclusivity period granted to the China-based company has now expired without planning application or designs being submitted.
The Crystal Palace was originally situated in Hyde Park, but relocated to Sydenham Hill where it was destroyed by fire in 1936, leaving behind only the Grade-II listed park.
The grounds held the world’s first theme park and staged 20 FA Cup Finals between 1895 and 1914.
Council leader Stephen Carr said: “These have been and remain complex proposals.
“The potential to completely restore and improve the park as well as regeneration for the surrounding area is something we cannot ignore.
“Equally, the council is not going to agree to something without being confident about the proposals, as we are custodians of this fantastic park.”
ZhongRong is described as an ‘international and diversified group corporation’ featuring an integration of real estate, finance, energy, mining, hotels, exhibitions and business operations.
Despite welcoming the investment, fears have been raised within the community over the area’s ability to handle the impact extra visitors would cause.
A petition expressing residents’concerns regarding the deal has gained 1,959 supporters.
Councillor Carr confirmed talks with the corporations are ongoing.
He said: “Whilst we are no longer bound by an exclusivity agreement, the confidential discussions have not concluded and these continue with ZhongRong.
Picture courtesy of Berit Watkin, with thanks
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