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Marsh restoration 'a tragic mess'
CAMPAIGNERS have accused Olympic organisers of leaving a popular green space in a mess, despite promising to restore the site following its use for a temporary training venue.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) pledged to return Leyton Marsh to its original condition after they built a basketball sports hall there over the summer.
Waltham Forest Council granted planning permission on the basis that the land would be back in "pristine condition" by October 15 - a deadline the ODA failed to meet amid claims that efforts had been hampered by heavy rain.
The organisation finally packed up and left Leyton Marsh earlier this month, but campaigners are horrified that replacement turf has seemingly failed to grow into the land properly and that parts now get waterlogged whenever it rains.
Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said she was "shocked" at the state of the marsh when she visited the site with campaigners last week.
She said: "There are clearly many broken promises about the restoration of the original space.
"I shall write to Waltham Forest Council to ask them to conduct an environmental impact assessment to quantify the damage that’s been done.
"I shall also write to the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) and to the ODA to establish why the Marsh has not been restored as promised".
Save Leyton Marsh campaigner Katy Andrews added: "It's a tragic mess. The water is not draining away as it should and it comes up to your ankles.
"It's not like a marsh should be, it's like walking in a paddling pool. The water is just sitting there."
A spokesman for the ODA said: "We have completed the reinstatement works in accordance with the specifications agreed with LVRPA and Waltham Forest Council.
"Land on Porter’s Field [Leyton Marsh] used for the temporary basketball venue has now been handed back to LVRPA and an ongoing programme of maintenance has been agreed.
"The reinstatement plan was drafted with residents’ input and they have been kept informed through regular site meetings and ongoing correspondence.”
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