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LONDON 2012 MAY NOT BE SUCH AN OLYMPIAN TASK

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LETTERS

Since it was announced in 2005 that London will host the 2012 Olympics, it appears every architect and building contractor has been desperate to get involved with the new building project.

Following the fiasco of the Wembley Stadium redevelopment, fears have been raised that the ambitious project, which will result in a significant regeneration of parts of east London, may run over time and budget.

But just how realistic are such fears? The expected development spend for 2012 is between £1 billion and £1.8 billion - depending on interpretation. And this is to be achieved over six years. Yet some £75 billion is spent on construction in the UK every year - achieving the Olympic dream is far from an unrealistic or over-optimistic plan.

Given the scale of the project, there is simply no excuse for overrunning on time or budget. London 2012 is indeed high profle and many organisations will put forward their most innovative designs to gain prestige. It also has a focus on sustainability that will provide opportunities for the use of new materials.

But for any well-organised operation, with sound processes and information resources that ensure best practice, an Olympic contract should not represent a high-risk project. Isn't it time the industry stopped overplaying the Olympic challenge and got down to delivering a showcase for British design?

Will Yandell, commercial director, Union Square Software

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