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Battle over allotment sites
Allotment holders exiled from their plots to make way for the Olympics should not be allowed to return to the original site as promised, according to Waltham Forest Council.
Dozens were forced to leave their allotments at Eton Manor in Leyton to make way for Olympics facilities.
They were housed on a temporary site and told by games organisers they would be able to return post-games.
But now Waltham Forest Council is attempting to block the move, describing it as a “scandal”.
The authority wants the site to remain a public space, with facilities for tennis and basketball.
Jennette Arnold, London assembly member for north east London, today questioned the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which is in charge of redeveloping the Olympic park, on the issue.
LLDC deputy chairman Neale Coleman said planning consent required it to put allotments on the land, but Waltham Forest council had raised objections.
In response, Ms Arnold said: “They belong to the site. They’re not Waltham Forest allotments. It’s nothing to do with Waltham Forest.
“Does your promise for their return mean nothing then?”
Mr Coleman replied: “We are standing by what we said we would do. It’s the local authority that doesn’t want us to do that.”
Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Chris Robbins, said in a statement: “It’s an absolute scandal that allotments are set to take pride of place in the country’s flagship sporting facility.
“That is why we are proposing a better future for the Olympic Park. It will not only make the park more accessible to Waltham Forest residents and Londoners as a whole but it will build on its green credentials providing more open space in the capital.”
The council submitted a planning application for their urban meadow to the LLDC last month and expect to have a decision early next year.
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