CONCERNS over whether Greenwich Park is a large enough to house cross country during the London 2012 Olympics have been raised again, this time on the BBC, 18 months after H&H first reported the issue (news, 9 November 2006).

The subject was debated on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme last Friday (1 February).

Dressage at Hickstead founder Dane Rawlins believes the cross country phase should be moved to the 400 acre Lee Valley Country Park, on the edge of London in Leyton, which already has an equestrian centre.

Greenwich Park is 183 acres and to put an Olympic course there will involve ripping up tarmacked paths and banning locals from using the park, says Mr Rawlins.

“I have nothing against Greenwich as a site — I am a Londoner myself and the idea of all those horses in the capital is very exciting — but we run the risk of spending £16m on a two week horse show which leaves absolutely nothing behind it,” he said.

“Lee Valley is only about 20 minutes from Greenwich, it is within London, and we could improve the facilities there and leave something behind as a legacy.”

A spokesman for the British Equestrian Federation said they were completely happy with Greenwich as a venue.

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