Sunday, 23 November 2014

Olympic homes must meet local needs

Homes built on the Olympic sites must meet the needs of local people rather than affluent incomers, the London Assembly has warned.

In a report on the company responsible for the development of the Olympic Park after the 2012 games, the assembly says homes built on the site must help with overcrowding in the five host boroughs.

In the report on the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the assembly’s economic development, culture, sport and tourism committee notes financial pressures could put the OPLC under pressure to maximise revenue from housing.

‘There are significant housing needs in east London, including for more affordable and family housing,’ it states. ‘It is important that these needs are reflected in future housing provision on the Olympic Park, which should be balanced between commercial and social objectives.’

The OPLC is responsible for the development of housing on the Olympic Park, but not the Olympic Village, which is due to be turned into around 2,800 homes.

The committee says the OPLC should have a ‘significant role in decisions over the Olympic Village, so it is able to ensure plans for the Olympic Village complement housing elsewhere in the park’.

Committee chair Dee Doocey said: ‘A strong legacy of skills, housing, employment and sports participation is the only way to stop the Olympic Park becoming an island of prosperity, cut off from the surrounding community.

‘East London deserves a lasting legacy from the games and I hope the mayor and OPLC act on these recommendations.’

An OLPC spokesperson said: ‘We welcome this report and the committee’s ongoing commitment to work with us to create a lasting 2012 legacy.

‘The development of a new metropolitan area that is integrated with its surroundings and provides employment and sporting opportunities for local people, along with securing a viable legacy use for the Olympic venues, are among the fundamental aims of the company which we are laying down in our corporate plan.’

Readers' comments (3)

  • Are local people really going to benefit from affordable housing after 2012? Those East London boroughs are some of the most deprived in Greater London with high unemployment. Housing low income families in the olympic park surrounded by the huge Westfield shopping mall housing stores such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and Gucci! Somehow i don't see the connection? It will basically become another Canary Wharf housing investment bankers driving porsches and range rovers complete with in house concierges and fitness suites!

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  • What local needs? Dream on! They will want top dollar for those properties!

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  • These homes needs to be a "mix" of ownership for it to work. As well as the higher income earners who will be attracted by the proximity to the city, there needs to be affordable housing for people who work but are on low incomes, whose children will have places at the local schools and commit to be a part of the local community and learn to speak English fluently if it's not their mother tongue. We do not want to create "ghettos" at either end of the wealth scale.

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