A PLAN for a 500-pitch Olympic campsite on a sports pitch has been dramatically ditched.

The Guardian understands tour company Fanatics has pulled out of a deal to use Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket & Football Club because it fears it does not have enough time to market the site effectively.

Chairman of the club, Martin Pluck, said: “We at the cricket club are obviously extremely disappointed that this project will not proceed.

"This is not only because of the loss of income to the club and local businesses, which would have been extremely useful in the current economic climate, but also because we genuinely believe that it would have enhanced the Olympic experience for the local neighbourhood .”

Fanatics, which is based in Australia, was not available for comment.

But residents who expressed concern that the site would see the area overrun with tourists during the games welcomed the news.

Bert Webster, 83, who lives in Overton Drive, the sole access point to the club grounds, said: “It’s excellent to hear it’s not happening because we could foresee congestion and disruption if it went ahead.”

Alan Cornish, 72, of St Mary’s Avenue, added: “We’re delighted at that news, it’s fantastic because Wanstead would have become completely overrun for the duration of the Olympics.”

A proposal for a 4,000-pitch campsite in Forest Road, Hainault, was recently turned down, but Eton Manor Rugby Club in Nutter Lane, Wanstead, still hopes to allow 200 tents on its grounds.

Meanwhile, Redbridge Council has confirmed George Green in Wanstead was the only site considered as a temporary car park for the Games.

Last week the Guardian revealed that the authority’s leisure arm Vision had enquired to the landowners City of London Corporation about the availability of the site because of its close proximity to transport links.

A spokeswoman said: “No other areas have been discussed in terms of car parking.”

She also admitted that the authority does not know exactly what the parking requirements are going to be around Tube and rail stations in the borough.

Residents insisted George Green was an inappropriate site for parking but fear the area could be overrun as permits will be issued to people living in neighbouring Olympic boroughs.

The Wanstead Society’s Geoff Horsnell said: “It could be chaotic here. The council is going to be extremely worried about overspill.

“Parking has got to be a problem but I don’t want to see a great park possibly spoiled to deal with it.”

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