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Chris Brown: Olympics 'not best way to regenerate'

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A regeneration expert has warned that London did not have time to maximise the benefits of hosting the Olympic Games

Chris Brown, chief executive of Igloo Regeneration, said the London Games’ £9.3 billion budget was not the most cost-effective way of redeveloping the capital’s East End.

Critics of London 2012 have slated the use of public money for a sporting event while the economy is struggling.

If you want to do regeneration, this is not the way you would spend £10 billion

Brown told Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘There are definitely benefits [of hosting the Games], we have a large swathe of land in east London that has been brought back into more productive use… we are going to see a flourishing of that area after the Games.

‘But the question is: was it worth it? We spent an awful lot of money getting that little bit of east London regenerated. We had seven years from 2005 until now and it’s not really enough time to get a legacy designed, planned and implemented.’

Meanwhile, the London Legacy Development Corporation today (2 August) appointed Taylor Wimpey and L&Q to build the first of five neighbourhoods on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Chobham Manor will feature terraced and mews houses, set within tree-lined avenues and supported by a new health centre, nurseries and community spaces.

Brown added: ‘Wouldn’t it be so much better if the houses that are going to be in the Olympic Park in 10 years’ time were built and we were having the Games in the neighbourhood?

‘You have to think very carefully when spending public money about what the benefits are you are getting for it. If you want to do regeneration, this is not the way you would spend £10 billion.

‘There are other benefits from the Olympics but if we had a competition to spend £10billion on regeneration we would have other results.’

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