POSTED: February 10th 2009

London lifts lid on 'Legacy 2012 '

Tomorrow's world: Stratford waterfront, the park and the stadium / image: GLA/LDA
Tomorrow's world: Stratford waterfront, the park and the stadium / image: GLA/LDA

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: A "fantastic" vision - to use Mayor Boris Johnson's new favourite adjective - has been unveiled for the urban legacy from the London Olympic Games in 2012.

The Legacy Masterplan Framework is the set of proposals upon which the regeneration of east London is being designed in a project which would not reach conclusion until around 2025. The timescale and breadth are such that no-one at the unveiling - Mayor Johnson, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell or Communities Minister Hazel Blears - would be drawn on costs.

Plans, now open for public consultation, include 10,000 new homes in addition to the 3,000 within the Olympic Village site, three new primary schools, two secondary schools and a sports academy within the confines of the Olympic stadium. Projections also include the delivery of 10,000 new jobs with a central hub being a media and broadcast centre.

Jowell said: "It's not an overstatement to say we see this as being a new sports, business and cultural centre for London. These plans were always in our mind but the Olympics has turbo-charged the process."

The overall cost of London 2012 has been estimated at £9.3bn but Johnson said it was impossible at this time to split out figures for associated urban development before, during and after the Games.

Incomparable project

Describing the development in greater detail, Tom Russell, the LDA group legacy director, said: "This is all about houses, jobs, businesses and cultural attractions after the Games. Nothing comparable has ever been seen in the UK, certainly not in my lifetime."

Russell said that the emphasis would be on quality and ambition and that the plans had been raised with the knowledge that the project would need to be robust and flexible enough to cope with widely varying economic cycles over the next 15 years.

With one eye on the IOC's focus on legacy, he added: "Finally we are able to show people exactly how the 2012 Games will regenerate one of the most deprived areas in the country."

One contining vexed question remains the future of the Olympic Stadium whose skeleton is now clearly visible on the skyline beyond the centre of Stratford in East London.

Johnson confirmed that no Premier League football club had been interested in taking over the stadium in and that, almost by default, it would remain principally an athletics venue beyond 2012. Russell conceded it would need ongoing public subsidies for maintenance. The stadium will thus be deconstructed to a 25,000 capacity after the 2012 Games and the Paralympics have been concluded.

Keywords · Olympic Games · London · 2012 · Jowell · Johnson · Blears

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