The archived pdf Newsletters (1 to 81) were edited by Dr Martin Heath as  superviser of  the Belair Project, and include attributed  contributions by others.  Some  have been reconfigured here as blog posts for ease of browsing and viewing. (An archive of the original PDFs is available here.) More recent newsletters are posted below.

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article in BIIA

here is a link to an article in BIIA:

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#95: Has the Crystal Palace Fairytale Exploded?

Cherry trees in Crystal Palace park

Cherry trees bloom in Crystal Palace Park. Image: M.J.Heath

An open letter to the cllrs of the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

RE: Crystal Palace Park proposal.

There is a widespread perception amongst supporters of the scheme to re-build the Crystal Palace that it has been proposed by a fabulously wealthy businessman, Mr Ni, a billionaire philanthropist who has the financial muscle to ensure that the project will be successful, regardless of costs or the ups and downs of the economic climate. Mr Ni, it is claimed in some media reports, wishes to build us an exact replica of the 1854 Crystal Palace. He is acting purely out of love for this historic building and he will neither need nor expect any immediate financial returns from the project.

On the face of it, this heart-warming story appears to have fallen apart…

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article in the Apollo (2.4.2014) by Digby Warde-Aldam argues against the rebuilding of the Crystal Palace

Digby Warde-Aldam writing in the Apollo argues that reduplicating the Crystal Palace would be bizarre, pointless, and anachronistic:


I particularly love Warde-Aldam’s conclusion:

“the site on which it [the original Crystal Palace] stood is one of the most uniquely weird public spaces in Britain.

It’s got sphinxes and staircases that rise to an empty plateau, the one vacated by the Palace itself. It’s got the TV transmitter, London’s answer to the Eiffel Tower. Hell, it’s even got anatomically incorrect dinosaurs. The park is truly unique, its landscaped anarchy made all the more exciting by the absence of a centrepiece. If any open space in London deserves to be preserved as it is, it’s this.”

Crystal Palace Sphinx

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Richard Godwin in the Evening Standard worries about some concerning tendencies of ‘starchitect’ projects in London

Richard Godwin in the Evening Standard (9.4.2014) worries about the plans for Battersea Power Station, and more broadly notes some concerning tendencies of ‘starchitect’ projects in London:

Godwin - starchitects5

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ARUP Press Release (25th February 2014) on architects shortlisted to design The Crystal Palace

This is a copy of the press release sent out by ARUP on 25th February 2014:

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Renowned architects shortlisted to design The Crystal Palace

Six renowned architect practices offering a diverse range of approaches have been shortlisted in the next stage of the competition to select an architect to design The Crystal Palace as a new cultural destination for London in the spirit, scale and magnificence of the original.

Plans to invest £500 million in rebuilding The Crystal Palace and restoring the surrounding public park were announced in October 2013 by ZhongRong Group, with the support of the Mayor of London and the Bromley Council.

The new culture-led exhibition and employment space, which is set to create up to two thousand jobs and revitalise the local economy, will sit at the top of the 180-acre Crystal Palace Park in south London. It will incorporate the listed Italian style terraces, and other Victorian heritage within the park, fully restored for the public.

The selection panel for the competition to design this unique landmark project evaluated expressions of interest from almost 40 leading practices from across the world. The panel shortlisted the following six architects to prepare a more detailed submission and presentation:

David Chipperfield Architects
Haworth Tompkins Architects
Marks Barfield Architects
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Zaha Hadid Architects with Anish Kapoor

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The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) want you to be involved in improving Penge

Would you like to see open spaces in Penge improved? The Conservation Volunteers are working with Affinity Sutton to find out how their tenants and Penge residents would like to improve their open spaces small or large from community gardens, balconies, roof terraces to private gardens. Come along to one of our forthcoming events to tell us how these spaces could be improved, and how you would like to get involved. You might be keen to try your hand at growing your own food, creating spaces for wildlife, or receiving gardening training – let us know about it.

Wednesday 9th April 12pm to 2pm Free Herb Workshop - we’ll be learning how to grow and use herbs, and planting up a pot to take home at Anerley Town Hall, Anerley Road, SE20 8BD. This event is for adults only, please book by contacting Lizzy on 07740 899 689 or emailing

Here is the pdf of their event flyer: Cultiv8 Penge Free Herb Growing Workshop Wednesday 9th April

Go to their website here:

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New Statesman article on Crystal Palace shows major publications are beginning to interrogate this strangely under-the-radar issue

On Monday March 31st 2014, The New Statesman published this article decrying the proposed Crystal Palace as another bizarre Boris vanity project, and as a symbol of bygone empire days, which has poorly thought-out relevance to the 2014 residents of the local area…

Read it by following this link:

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Save Rosendale Surgery

The Save Rosendale Surgery petition is here:

rosendale surgery

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update from John Kissi regarding planning permission for Belair Park, Dulwich Park, and the SCST Sports Grounds.

Email from John Kissi

Dear All,
I am glad to inform you at about 12 midnight last night planning permission was granted for all 3 sites (Belair Park, Dulwich Park and the SCST Sports Grounds). I did like to take this opportunity to thank you for your contribution and engagement throughout the development of the project.

We hope we can continue to count on your support as we move to the construction phase.

We have planned a pre-construction consultation programme as follows;

Stakeholders Meeting:
Date: 2 April, 2014
Venue: Francis Peek Centre, Dulwich Park/SCST Pavilion

Time: Friends of Belair Park: 11:00 – 12:00
Dulwich Park Friends: 12:30 – 14:00
SCST:15:00 – 17:00

Public Meeting:
Date: 9 April, 2014
Venue: Francis Peek Centre, Dulwich Park

Time: Drop in session: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Presentation: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
I hope you can join us in these meetings and share your views.
Once again, thank you very much for your support and contribution.

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#94: Friends of Belair Park report back from ARUP’s latest public presentation (at Dulwich Community Council Meeting – 19th March)

by Martin Heath (Chair, Friends of Belair Park)

Dulwich Community Council Meeting, 19.3.2014. chaired by Helen Hayes

Dulwich Community Council Meeting, chaired by Helen Hayes

The Dulwich Community Council meeting on March 19, 2014 included both a presentation by Arup about the proposed development on the hill top section of Crystal Palace Park, and also a public discussion. Cllr Helen Hayes, who chaired the meeting, emphasised that there would be adequate time to hear everyone who wished to speak.

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