Chinese developer given ultimatum over rebuilding of London’s Crystal Palace

Chinese developer ZhongRong Group has been given an ultimatum over its proposed recreation of the Crystal Palace, the glass pavilion in south London that was built to house the 1851 Great Exhibition.  

Bromley council in south London has asked to company to produce detailed plans for the project within the next two weeks or risk losing control of it to another developer. The council would be able to do this because its 16-month exclusivity agreement with ZhongRong lapsed last month. 

Stephen Carr, the leader of the council, said: "Although we’re no longer bound by an exclusivity agreement, confidential discussions continue with ZhongRong.  

"Local people and other interested parties should know that when there is something to say we’ll keep them informed, as we have sought to do all the way along this process, and I thank them for their continued patience." 

ZhongRong won the £500m redevelopment in October 2013. As well rebuilding the Victorian structure, which burned down in 1936, it was to have restored the surrounding public park. Detailed proposals were to have been submitted last autumn.  

Plans are under development by Arup that include a hotel and conference centre, a visitor centre, a concert bowl and other commercial facilities. 

Illustration: Artist’s depiction of the new Crystal Palace

Video: The ceremony held when ZhongRong was awarded the scheme in October 2013

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