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Olympic post-Games planning criticised

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A ‘critical’ report from the London Assembly has attacked the future-proofing and lack of post-Games planning of the Olympic Stadium and Olympic International Broadcast Centre (IBC)

Designed by RPS, with cladding details overseen by Allies and Morrison, the IBC scheme is slammed for having no central heating, a roof that would not support lighting for television production, and poor public transport links.

There is also growing concern about the lack of interest from film companies in the ‘hangar-like’ 2012 venue, which could lead to it being demolished.

A spokesperson for the London Assembly Green Party said: ‘The problem is that there is no sign of anyone taking it over after the Games, and the planning conditions require it is taken down if no tenant is found by 2017.’

The spokesperson added: ‘With 55,000m2 of concrete flooring and a 30,000-tonne concrete frame, and a range of habitats provided by the 2,500m2 brown roof and more than 100 bird and bat boxes, deconstructing or demolishing this building would waste a huge amount of embodied carbon and leave the Olympic Park Legacy Company with a difficult job compensating for the loss of habitats.’

An Olympic Delivery Authority spokesperson said: ‘The IBC is designed to be split into as many as four separate units for legacy use after the Games. The Olympic Park Legacy Company will decide the future tenancy of the venue.’

Visualisation of London's Olympic Stadium

Visualisation of London’s Olympic Stadium

The report also said plans for the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium to shrink after the games from 80,000 to 25,000 seats were a ‘mistake’.

This strategy, it said, would ‘secure a legacy’ for top athletes but would fail to maximise the venue’s financially viability and east London’s regeneration, according to Len Duvall chair of the London Assembly’s Economic Development, Culture, Sport and Tourism (EDCST) Committee.

He said: ‘When London won its bid to stage the Games there should have been an open and thorough analysis of all legacy options for the stadium, which would inform decisions about legacy use. While the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has recently set out to do this, it should have happened much earlier.’

The athletics-led future for the stadium, promised to the International Olympic Committee when London won the right to host the Games in 2005, is a ‘missed opportunity’ to deliver the most sustainable and beneficial legacy for the local community, said the report.  

Abandoning talks with major football clubs in 2007 only to take them up again in 2010 was a wasted opportunity that was likely to lead to extra costs in converting the stadium, it was also claimed.

West Ham football club are hoping that a deal can be struck for them to move into the stadium after the 2012 Games. The first bidding phase for the long-term lease of the Olympic Stadium ends on September 30.

Read the full report

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