The final hurdle to holding the equestrian competitions of the 2012 Olympic Games in London’s Greenwich Park was removed tonight (Tuesday 23 March).
During a marathon five-hour meeting of Greenwich Council’s planning committee members voted 10 to two in favour of the application submitted by the London Organising Commitee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
But the councillors imposed around 40 conditions on LOCOG’s preparations to transform the 87 hectare park into a venue for showjumping, dressage and cross-country and the Modern Pentathlon.
Speaking after the meeting LOCOG equestrian competition manager Tim Hadaway told H&H: “We have every confidence that we can comply with the conditions in the year and a half before the test event.
“We are very pleased by tonight’s decision but we have a lot to do. It’s full steam ahead.”
Hundreds of local people for and against the application crowded into Woolwich Town Hall for tonight’s meeting.
Pressure group NOGOE (No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events) opposes the holding of the competitions in the Royal Park.
At least six of their supporters spoke at the meeting, citing concerns about ecology, archeology, transport and lack of amenity to local people among their reasons for opposing the application.
But a large number of supporters also addressed the committee, including Will Connell and Andrew Finding of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).