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Olympics canoe masterplan gets the green light

FaulknerBrowns' plans for the 2012 Olympics Canoe Course in Hertfordshire have been ordered onto the starting line by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Announcing its decision to push ahead with the architect's masterplan, the ODA said the new course at Spitalbrook will be opened for preliminary testing and Olympic training in 2011.

It will be built next to Broxbourne rail station on land owned by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA).

Substantial environmental improvements have been factored into FaulknerBrowns' scheme, including a sanctuary for otters and water voles.

FaulknerBrowns declined to comment on its masterplan but LVRPA chief executive Shaun Dawson said: '(The) facility will open up the Spitalbrook site to the public for the first time in 100 years.'

The ODA is banking on the facility kick-starting regeneration in the Spitalbrook area.

A consultancy team led by project leader Drivers Jonas is to assess how the facility can be used once the Olympics and Paralympics are over.

ODA chief executive David Higgins said: 'The ODA is committed to delivering a high-quality venue that will provide an important sporting and regional legacy after the Games. Providing a legacy is critical to all our thinking.'

by Clive Walker

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