PROTESTERS against an Olympic training centre being built on public land lost a High Court battle against an injunction yesterday (April 18).

The mix of local residents and Occupy London movement members had set up camp on Leyton Marshes to prevent construction of two temporary basketball courts until an eviction order was served on them last week by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

And the campaigners suffered a second blow yesterday when the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) won their fight to renew an injunction preventing the campaigners from blocking deliveries to the building site.

The injunction, which originally lasted just two weeks, will now stay in effect until October 15, when the site is due to have been dismantled.

The campaigners remain optimistic despite the defeat and vowed to fight on, having moved the campsite to the edge of the site on Lea Bridge Road.

Save Leyton Marshes group spokeswoman Caroline Day said: "It is a sad day for democracy. But we didn't expect anything else really.

"The judge said we had legitimate concerns so I think that's important. We'll have to look for legal alternatives to challenge the development and how it's taken place."

The group had originally planned to bring a judicial review against the construction, including claims the ODA has dug down half a metre into the ground rather than the few centimentres allowed by Waltham Forest Council, as well as saying the Olympics body has dug up land containing asbestos and lead.

It has since been advised that it would be deemed a pointless expense because the development is already being built, and so is looking at other ways to advance its argument.

An ODA spokesman said: "We are obviously pleased that the High Court has agreed to extend our injunction to prevent disruptive activity at Leyton Marsh, action designed to prevent deliveries and construction on this temporary training venue.

"We will now be continuing with our work on this site, which we are obliged to restore to its previous state and return to the land-owner, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, by 15 October.

"Members of the public will still be able to use the vast majority of the immediate area, and the wider Leyton Marshes throughout the spring and summer."

Mr Justice Arnold, who has tickets for an Olympics basketball game, denied that the injunction prevents peaceful protest and said it was "necessary and appropriate" to grant the injunction for the ODA.

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