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Vandals at the Gate - Open letter to Greenwich Councillors

Following the demolition of the Blackheath Gate Rachel Mawhood decided to send an open letter sent to Greenwich Councillors. It is published below with some minor amendments to the text for clarity and to include links.

She also records: ‘Incidentally, when a member of the Friends of Greenwich Park telephoned the chair of the Friends to complain about the demolition, her de haut en bas response included her opinion that as the Gates were only put up in 1880 they were "not that old" ... With Friends like these in the amenity societies, who needs LOCOG?'

Dear Councillors

Why did councillors not challenge LOCOG's assertion in Paragraph 7.6 on page 58 in the planning board report for the meeting on 26 January 2012, the Blackheath Gate application 11/2396/F and application for Listed Building Consent (Ref: 11/2397/L) that the bricks in the Blackheath Gate stanchions were of ‘poor quality’

‘generally the poor quality of the bricks’

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Olympics Land Wars and Judicial Reviews

Following the recent debacle over the Circus Field Nogoe has announced that it is seeking legal advice on and preparing to seek judicial review of Greenwich Council's planning board decision of 26 January 2012.

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Circus Field - Cuckoo comes early to Greenwich

Unsurprisingly Locog's planning application for its activities in Greenwich Park was passed by Greenwich's Planning Committee. Three of the nine members of the Committee, including the Leader of the Council, failed to turn up. It is questionable whether it and other Olympic Borough Planning Committees still deserve that name so corrupted has the local planning system been by the progress of the juggernaut.

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Losing the Marshes

A story of what happens when the Olympics comes to town. The Olympic Games and the attendant juggernaut of its needs will threaten an area rich in history and loved by its community and visitors from the rest of London. Hackney has its own unique qualities, a wealth of community projects and a history of great significance and symmetry with today and the prescience for the behemoth of the Olympics, steadily rolling into view.

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Circus Field - Bring on the Clowns!

The circus goes on! Having elicited the information from Greenwich Council's Senior Planning Solicitor that the ODA had requested that the LDA purchase Blackheath Circus Field on its behalf, NOGOE's Rachel Mawhood was surprised by the response from the ODA to a Freedom of Information request submitted on 20th December 2011 in which she had written:

'I understand, LOCOG intends to use the Olympics Act 2006 somehow to circumvent the 1866 and 1871 legislation to empower themselves to enclose Circus Field in 2012.

Which part of the Olympics Act says that it can be used to over-ride the Metropolitan Commons Act 1866 and Supplemental Act 1871?'

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What a Circus!

Following the revelation that the Blackheath Circus Field had been purchased by the ODA NOGOE2012 has pressed on to uncover more details about the transaction. It turns out that the purchase was actually made by the LDA.

Mrs Mawhood of NOGOE pointed out to the Greenwich Senior Planning Solicitor that the Olympics Act required that purchases of land for the purposes of the Olympics have to be made by a Regional Development Agency, which the ODA is not. The Solicitor has responded that the ODA has got around this problem by requesting the LDA buy the land on its behalf, so the LDA has taken out a short lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners and the Queen.

Dear Mrs Mawhood

The London Development Agency (LDA) is a regional development agency for
the purposes of the London 2012 Act. The LDA was designated as a
development agency for the Greater London Area under Schedule 1 of the
Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. The LDA is acting at the request
of the ODA as set out in s.36(1) in acquiring a short lease of Circus
Field from the Crown Estates owner of this part of the registered common.

The lease is made between Her Majesty the Queen, the Crown Estate
Commissioners and the London Development Agency, and an under lease of
the Circus Field has been made between the LDA and LOCOG by licence to
underlet from the Crown Estate Commissioners.


Suan White
Senior Planning Solicitor
Greenwich Council

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What a merry-go-round! ODA buys Blackheath Circus Field

The Olympic Delivery Authority, ODA, has bought the Circus Field at Blackheath to overcome the provision in Section 4 of the Metropolitan Commons Supplemental Act 1871 which bars the Management Board for the heath, now Greenwich Council, from enclosing any part of the Circus Field. This purchase enables the ODA to use Section 36 of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Act 2006 to achieve exactly that result!

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More open space occupied by Olympics

The Olympics continues to spread out into neighbouring areas. In addition to the police takeover of Wanstead Flats a campsite for 5000 is planned at Low Hall Sports Ground in Walthamstow and a Basketball training centre is to be built at Leyton Marsh.

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