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2012 Legacy Housing Double Counting: ODA admits housing for Athletes' Village 'would have been built anyway'.

The ODA has had to admit that housing for the Athletes' Village being built at Stratford City, now renamed Stratford 2011, would have been built anyway, making a nonsense of the claims of a Housing Legacy from the Village, see the attached FOI response. To justify its continued insistence that the Village does indeed have a Legacy value the ODA is resorting to the argument that the housing on the Stratford City site would not have been delivered until much later, if it had not been for the Olympics.

This, of course, is impossible to know as plainly the Olympics have interfered with the whole process and economic circumstances have changed with the developing credit crash. The rest of the Stratford City project, its commercial developments and other housing, is supposed to be delivered by 2011. The credit crash may well have delayed the construction of some housing, but this is hardly an argument for the ODA to deploy as this will apply to many projects.

In fact, because of the Olympics, the Village housing will not be available until 2013 at the earliest as it will have to be modified after use for the Games. In addition, as this section of Stratford City's housing has been incorporated into the Athletes' Village, it has become vulnerable to the credit crash, as it has to be delivered by a fixed date, and will require hundreds of millions of pound of public funds to be spent on its construction, which would not have been the case if the housing had been built on a more flexible timetable as part of the Stratford City project.

As the authorities are desperate to incorporate Stratford City into the Olympics, and claim credit for this £4billion redevelopment programme, it has been renamed Stratford 2011 and is now described as being built 'on the back of' the Olympics. It was originally referred to as a free standing project, which was not dependent on London winning the Games. Stratford City includes a large housing component of which the Athletes’ Village is just a part. Its existence as an independent project undermines the claim that the 2012 Games are essential for the regeneration of Stratford.

Neither the ODA nor the LDA have previously admitted that the Athletes’ Village housing legacy claim represents double counting of the same units. It is not surprising, therefore, that the ODA continues to insist there is a Legacy value, even though it has to acknowledge there is no additional housing and, indeed, that the amount of housing being created has actually declined from 4,500 to 3,500 units! Even this claim is disputed as, although the ODA denies it in the FOI response, there are widespread reports that the figure is now 3,300 and possibly only 3,000 new homes. It is likely that, without this interference from the Olympics, Stratford City would have delivered more housing on the Village site than will now be achieved, certainly at less public expense.

FOI response re Athletes' Village.pdf79.77 KB

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