London mayor Ken Livingstone has pledged to make Picketts Lock the home of UK athletics, effectively rejecting Foster and Partners' plan to transform Wembley into a combined soccer and athletics national stadium.
Speaking to the AJ at the topping-out ceremony for the Greater London Authority headquarters (now christened 'City Hall'), Livingstone said:
'There has got to be a stadium in London in time for the Olympics, that is the most important thing. But I want east London for athletics.'
Livingstone's views were endorsed by deputy mayor Nicky Gavron, who believes large-scale projects, including the proposed south-west to Hackney tube line, will kick-off earlier if the east London scheme goes ahead.
However, the £95 million Picketts Lock complex was thrown into further doubt this week when it was refused Lottery funding. Sport England said a further seven-week review was needed to iron out pressing issues, such as the gap in capital funding, long-term viability, planning and future use.