Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Westcombe Society Response to London Olympic Planning Application for Greenwich Park

The following is the text of a letter sent to Greenwich Council Planning Department by Gordon Baker, Chair of the Westcombe Society in response to the Planning Application submitted by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games for permission to hold a test event in Greenwich Park in 2011 and Olympic Equestrian events in Greenwich Park in 2012. (The only changes to the text are found in brackets and clarify points for readers of this Blog).

Although we are very grateful to you (Greenwich Council Planning Department) for the slight extension in the deadline for responses, we still contend that the time allowed is unreasonably short for small local voluntary societies, let alone private individuals, to assimilate and comment on such a lengthy, complex and important dossier on a topic which has aroused so much local controversy, especially when that time has straddled the Christmas and New Year holidays
I attach for your action the Society's formal response to the application, (attachment in previous post below) This covers the assurances which LOCOG has given and other key points where the Society finds that the application is still unclear or unsatisfactory and to which we believe that effective additional specific conditions should be attached.
Our submission concentrates mainly on access to the Park and transport arrangements which are of the most vital concern to our members and all who live or carry on business in the Westcombe Park area. At an information meeting jointly arranged by this Society, the Blackheath and Greenwich Societies and the Friends of Greenwich Park in September of last year more worry and incredulity was expressed from the floor about the perceived inadequacy of the transport arrangements in the light of local experience than about any other aspect of the Greenwich Park Olympics.
We have also focused on the Arena, where information and consultation has been tardy and less adequate than the extensive information and consultation accorded to the Cross-Country course. Attention has also been drawn to a number of specific concerns about the Park itself to which we believe that conditions should be attached. So far as the Park is concerned, however, we have been guided by and broadly support the observations of the Friends of Greenwich Park, whose expertise we greatly respect. Detailed comments on these points are set out in a separate Annex, which should be appended to and considered together with our response (for Annex see 2nd of previous posts below.)
Finally, we have commented about the inadequacy of information and assurances on the legacy of the Greenwich Park Olympics, about which many of our members remain confused.
Our submission has been drawn up in consultation with the Friends of Greenwich Park and the Greenwich and Blackheath Societies, to whom copies will be sent. I am also sending courtesy copies to Neil Smith and Margaret Harper of LOCOG.


Anonymous said...

will they be closing all the roads off and blocking us all in like they do during the marathon and similar events?

I fear that the local residents are going to get a raw deal. will we lose access to the park and get congested roads, just so a bunch of horse lovers can take over the place and ride roughshod over everybody else's rights?

Ed said...

Anonymous needs to get a life. Who needs Nimbies in their back yard? The Olympics is a time for London - the whole country - to be on show and put its best foot forward. OK, there's going to be some inconvenience - but we shd see this as an opportunity, not a threat.

Tina and Stephen said...

We applaud the Westcombe Society as the only local society to organise a postal vote for all its members regarding the Equestrian Olympics in Greenwich Park and this showed a majority in favour of the event. We hope this view will be represented at tomorrow's planning meeting.