A CAMPSITE for Olympic tourists will take 100 fewer pitches than was originally planned as councillors granted it planning permission last night (Monday).

The grounds of Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket and Football Club in Overton Drive will be used as a temporary campsite for Australian visitors with 500 pitches during the Games next year, after a decision was made at a Redbridge Council planning committee.

Chris Hurd, the treasurer for the cricket and football club, said: “I’m very happy about it.

“It would have been nice to have 600, but we’re quite happy with 500.

“We will now press ahead with the organisation.”

More than 80 neighbours signed a petition against the campsite and 42 wrote letters expressing their concerns, including noise, crime and anti-social behaviour.

But members of the club have argued that the money raised would benefit the community and said campers will be told to use public transport, as no parking is being provided on site.

Alan Cornish, the chairman of Friends of Wanstead Park, who lives near the club in St Mary’s Avenue, said: “What we have to look forward to is 1,000 drunk Australians conga-ing down the road at 3am.

He said the reduction in the size of the campsite was to be welcomed, but was not enough of a compromise.

“Zero would be a satisfactory compromise,” he added. “It’s a question of who they rent the pitches to and who they invite back to their camp.

“I would like to see a controlled entry on the camp so the only people going in there are people who have paid to be on the site.”

An Olympic campsite with space for more than 4,000 tents is on the cards for Forest Road in Hainault and Eton Manor Rugby Club just across the A12 in Nutter Lane, Wanstead, wants to host 200 campers during the Games.

What do you think of the campsite plans? Call the Guardian on 07795 507440.

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