CONSTRUCTION of a temporary Olympic police base on Wanstead Flats began this morning (June 23).

Around 30 workers are at the site putting up green wall panels, laying tarpaulin and installing cables in the ground.

There are also lorries, forklifts, portaloos and a digger on site.

The work is currently being monitored by two police vans.

When it is complete the base, which will be surrounded by an 11-foot high fence, will cover eight acres and provide a muster station for the police during the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Parliament granted a temporary suspension of a 136-year-old act which prohibits building on Epping Forest Land to allow police to begin construction.

The Save Wanstead Flats campaign fought an unsuccessful battle in the courts to prevent the base being built.

Their spokesman Kevin Blowe was on the Flats this morning. He said: “The police seemed curious as to why I was wandering around.

“I think they were there in case a large number of protesters turned up.

“My guess is that they will have completed a good deal of the work by the end of the weekend.

“It is particularly worrying to see them installing electricity cables in the ground because it just makes you think they are putting an infrastructure in place to make something like this possible again.”

The base will be allowed to stand for 90 days after which it must be removed and the Police will pay the City of London £170,000 in compensation.

Mr Blowe added: “We will continue to monitor the site over the coming weeks to see if people walking around the outside of the base are having their movements restricted by police.”

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