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ODA to handle all Olympic planning in-house

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced that all planning applications relating to the 2012 London Olympic Park area will now be determined by the organisation's own in-house planning committee.

The move will mean all decisions within the Olympic boundaries - a strict geographical area that includes parts of the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest - will be made by a single committee.

The new body has 11 members, two from the ODA board, four local councillors recommended by the local authorities, and five independent members selected following an open advertisement.

Chairman of the committee Lorraine Baldry said: 'The government has given the ODA the power to set up this committee so that planning decisions within the Olympic Park area are decided by one team to ensure the venues and infrastructure are delivered on time.'

The first decision by the committee is an advanced application allowing work to begin on the repair of the wall alongside the River Lea on what will be the aquatics centre site.

According to the ODA, the planning committee will act in the same way as other planning authorities, undertaking public consultation on new planning applications.

by Richard Vaughan

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