AN HISTORIC green could become a car park for the Olympics, it has emerged.
More than 1,000 cars could be left on George Green, next to Wanstead Tube station, this summer as ticket-holders use the underground to travel to the Olympic Park in Stratford.
A total of 1,000 tourists are already expected to stay in two nearby campsites in the area.
Now Vision, which looks after Redbridge Council's Culture and Leisure departments, has written to landowner the City of London Corporation to check on the availability of the site – and others which are yet to be revealed.
Some residents expressed surprise and anger at the move.
The home of Doreen Golding, 70, of Gardener Close in Wanstead, overlooks the beauty spot.
She said: “We were expecting a big upheaval during the Olympics and this is it. Now we have to brace ourselves.
“I’ve seen a dual carriageway built under here against huge opposition and now there’s this.
“It’s not fair. The beauty of Wanstead is its green spaces and we could now see one go.”
Alan Cornish, 72, of St Mary’s Avenue, said: “It’s madness. I overlook George Green and it’s a beautiful space. What about all the people who walk across it all the time? It’s an absolutely appalling idea.”
Geoff Horsnell, of the Wanstead Society, stressed his opposition to the plan, but believes the City of London Corporation will not look favourably on the proposal.
He added: “I do think it would be an eyesore and the justification is poor because they have already allowed many people to pitch tents here, so they will be walking to the Tube.
“I’d be very much against the car park but I suspect the Corporation will not be in favour of it. They don’t like development on open spaces.”
A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: “A general enquiry has been raised with the Corporation of London because of the location of George Green in terms of transport links.
“Vision are looking at various opportunities in preparation for the Olympics and are exploring ideas and suggestions.”
The City of London Corporation recently allowed Wanstead Flats to be used as a police base during the games.
Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket and Football Club in Overton Drive was granted permission to turn its grounds into a temporary campsite with space for 500 pitches.
Eton Manor Rugby Club in Nutter Lane hopes to accommodate 200 tents on its own grounds, though a 4,000-tent campsite planned for Forest Road in Hainault was recently turned down.