A public exhibition of plans by Capel Manor for areas of Crystal Palace park is taking place today (Friday) and tomorrow.

• Fri 22 November, 3.00-8.00pm at the Paxton Centre, 52 Anerley Hill
• Sat 23 November, 10.00am-1.00pm at Crystal Palace Park Farm

More Information available:

Proposals include:

  • Re-building the farm, providing a new learning centre south of the museum on Anerley Hill and what Capel Manor say is a “much better experience” for our students, visitors and animals.
  • Moving some of our teaching from the Jubilee Stand to new purpose-built teaching facilities next to Crystal Palace Museum.
  • Helping maintain, and improve, parts of the park for everyone.
  • Creating new jobs and encouraging more visitors into the park.

But Croydon Cllr Stephen James Mann who represents neighbouring Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood ward has posted on social media:  “Just to flag there are serious concerns with this site due to it breaking the tram corridor. “Although in a different borough (and supportive of Capel overall) we feel this should be located elsewhere in the park such as the Lodge site.”

Capel Manor College  say they need to vacate their existing premises in the NSC (National Sports Centre). “We want to provide the very best facilities for students and staff and are seeking a permanent base.

“We offer FE and HE courses in horticulture, tree surgery, floristry, garden design, countryside management and the environment, animal care and saddlery.

“Our Crystal Palace Park campus is currently based in various rooms and workshops in the National Sports Centre’s (NSC) Jubilee Stand, and at our very popular Crystal Palace Park Farm.”

Comments on social media include:

That’s a massive site. How are they allowed to not only fence of a lot of the area for their farm site and now gifted an equally large part of the parkland.

Am I right in saying they don’t pay much rent for the parts of the park that they already use. How much are they gifting to the park Trust to take this new big chunk? Also I thought that part of the park was safeguarded for any future tramlink.

The big issue for us last time CM wanted to build on parkland was that it was really solely for classrooms and it seemed odd when there are quite a lot of unused buildings and sites a short walk from existing farm that aren’t on park land. It would be different if it was actually buildings that NEEDED to be on parkland. We probably would find it odd if a local school or a university wanted to build classrooms on the park.

This site, at least on the face of it, does appear to make more sense as certainly some of it is quite unused and a bit unloved although I’m assuming they wouldn’t approve a large scale building all the way along the western/southern borders of the site as, if we remember back to the masterplan from last time, the view into the park as you come down from the triangle towards the entrance to the park (coming down Anerley Hill) is meant to be important in linking the park and the triangle.

Let’s hope it goes through proper planning and consultation as certainly there will be segments of the community that will have concerns if building on the park.

I’ve always loved the farm and as a regular park user Capel Manor College seems like a positive presence. Love the planting their students do around the park which improves the environment and if they’re creating opportunities for kids and jobs in these lines of work, it seems great. Not sure what the above comment means by them being ‘allowed’. Seems like something to be encouraged.

I guess some of us are a bit burnt after the last time when they were trying to build a five storey building on green land that is part of the park- overlooking our houses, destroying trees and bat routes and creating a 1000 student movements a day in a quiet residential cul-de-sac, and they were absolutely callous. So some of us will always be suspicious of their motives.

Let’s see.

The areas highlighted in the plans are pretty much no mans land as they are standing at the moment. It looks like a win win solution for the park, the students and the animals. Also this is state education so I don’t see why they should be made to pay money when we all are moaning about the lack of funding in education. You need to put your community cap on there and stop begrudging change.
I have lived in CP for 17 years. The tram was promised then and still nothing to show. Capel Manor is state run, my daughter attends. My point remains that Capel Manor could do more for kids in our community if they were allowed to expand. I don’t see how the tram is going to improve the triangle given how bad it is already with road traffic anyway.
The new Crystal Palace was going to offer young people hundreds of jobs and provide ongoing funding for the park but that was opposed by the vociferous minority because it was building in a park so why should this be allowed.
This is not a capitalist endeavour. This is developing the park in a way that its land is being taken care of, that the farm which provides our children with fond memories can introduce still a few more animals to their innocent entertainment and better still equips its students with valuable life skills and experiences. That’s why.

I remember when there were Pink Flamingoes there are and ostriches and many other wonderful animals and Horses it was amazing. We should start planting more trees in the park maybe making a Kew Gardens

There are 30 new trees being planted on the rec, this weekend.

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Can’t make it to the exhibition? You will also be able to view the information on this website, and you can provide feedback here

You can find about more about the work and history of Capel Manor College here.

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