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    Crystal Palace: Rock 'n 'row over park's gig fencing

    A row has broken out over plans to fence off parts of Crystal Palace Park for weeks at a time to stage rock gigs and show movies.


    The London Development Agency (LDA) wants to attract more people to the area and has applied to Bromley council for a licence to stage an unlimited number of events including concerts,dance performances,circuses and film screenings.


    Coldplay played two packed nights at the neighbouring National Sports Centre in June 2005, two years after Bruce Springsteen did the same. To save organisers having to dismantle and set up sound gear after each event, the LDA plans to seal off the area around the stage - known as The Bowl - between events.


    But while the Crystal Palace Community Association agrees that fencing off the stage itself would be sensible, it is against denying public access to any larger area.

    Lobby group member Mike Warwick said: "To fence off the enormous area which could accommodate 40,000 spectators would be depriving park users of the enjoyment of the park."


    The LDA also wants permission to sell alcohol in the park until 3am for summer events. Mr Warwick said: "This licence would give them carte blanche do do whatever they liked. If an event were on the scale of the Coldplay concert, which was attended by 40,000 people, it would mean the park and its environs would shut down."


    An LDA spokesman said the plan was to only stage events requiring fencing be left up for up to five weeks during the summer. He said: "Whenever fencing is not needed around the concert bowl site, it will be opened for public use."


    He added: "Our vision for Crystal Palace park as a sports and events park received over-whelming public support in our consultation last year. An entertainment and alcohol licence will give us the flexibility to continue to stage a variety of events throughout the year, such as concerts and firework displays. We do not intend to stage events that will disturb people who live around the park."


    Source: http://icsouthlondon.icnetwork.co.uk

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