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Demolishing homes and communities - Sustainability ODA style

In the autumn of 2007 the ODA knocked down my home along with 106 other houses on the Clays Lane estate. In November 2009 it won 'The Legacy Award - Sustainability' from an organisation called Constructing Excellence. One of the 'Key Achievements' claimed by the ODA, when it presented its case for this award, was its demolition of our homes along with another 108 buildings on the Olympic Park.

I decided to ask the ODA why it regarded these demolitions as an achievement. It only claimed credit for the demolition of the buildings. What about the community that used to inhabit these buildings? Was its demolition also an achievement?

For some reason the ODA only wanted to claim credit for knocking down buildings. Surely if it was an achievement to knock over bricks and mortar it was also an achievement to rip up the Manor Gardens allotments’ vegetable beds and sheds, the roadway for the cycle circuit, the Bully Point Nature Reserve and the community wood on the Eastway? Why this obsession with buildings?

In another part of its entry document the ODA claimed it was 'Supporting Communities'. Great, here was an opportunity to see what the ODA had done to support the Clays Lane community, the community most affected by the Olympic project.

However, the ODA wasn't best pleased with my Freedom of Information requests which it said were 'not requests for information held by the ODA'. It went on 'They are argumentative and rhetorical, and are made solely to make an assertion and to seek a debate'.

How disgraceful! Poor old ODA, being persecuted by a horrible evicted resident!

And what of its gallant efforts at supporting the Clays Lane community?

The ODA referred me to the forums it says it has created for local communities and businesses ‘to engage and find out about the construction programme as it is being delivered’.

If I had attended a forum at the time I would have known they were delivering the demolition of my home! How sensible. What more support could I possibly have asked for?


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