Plans to rebuild the Crystal Palace and restore the surrounding public park have been welcomed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
The £500m scheme is being led by Chinese investment group the ZhongRong Group and would see a new glass covered exhibition and cultural venue built on the site of the original palace.
In addition to the main building, the project would include the full restoration of the park, improved access, new lighting and a visitor centre.
The redevelopment of the park grounds would be based on the original Victorian design and include a central tree-lined boulevard.
A new advisory board, chaired by the Mayor, will work with the ZhongRong Group to assess the scheme’s impact on local transport services and residents before formal planning consent is sought.
The board will also ensure Londoners, local organisations, businesses and residents are consulted on the plans.
In addition to the Mayor, the board will include Stephen Carr, leader of Bromley Council which owns the land; Hank Dittmar, advisor to the Prince of Wales; Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit and Sir John Sorrell CBE, Chairman of the London Design Festival and UKTI Business Ambassador.
Launching the scheme, ZhongRong Group Chairman Mr Ni Zhaoxin said: “London is renowned across the world for its history and culture and the former Crystal Palace is celebrated in China as a magnificent achievement.
“This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring its spirit back to life by recreating The Crystal Palace and restoring the park to its former glory to create a new and exciting destination for local people and international visitors.”
Mayor Johnson added: “Today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter for Crystal Palace Park.
“This is a vision that could not only see a world-class landmark building reinstated, of the quality of the original, but the restoration of the entire surrounding park, bringing jobs and growth.”
The project has been given a cautious welcome by Val Shawcross, a Labour member of the London Assembly.
Ms Shawcross said: “A proposal for the park which has the potential to enhance this, and bring employment opportunities to the area is interesting and should be explored.
“However, any development plans must not undermine the local environment and quality of life for local residents.”
She added: “I am worried by the prospect of extensive car parking and mindful that Crystal Palace’s existing local transport facilities are already busy and will not cope with large numbers of extra visitors in their current form. These issues need to be considered carefully and in detail.”
However Darren Johnson, a Green member of the Assembly, said it was “unacceptable” to build on the park.
Mr Johnson said: “While I’m sure many people would love to see the Crystal Palace raised from the ashes, this precious parkland isn’t the right place for it.
“When the palace was moved there in the 1850s the newly laid out park was near countryside, but today it’s an urban park with a lot of space already taken up by the national sports centre, car parks, roads and the caravan site.”
Mr Johnson called on the Mayor and council to support local groups “who are doing their best to restore heritage features without losing green space.”