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CONTROL BATTLE PUTS LEGACY UNDER THREAT

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Agencies vie for responsibility...
Agencies vie for responsibility

By Jennifer Sprinks

A row over which organisations will have responsibility for the management of the Olympic site beyond 2012 could undermine plans for a long-lasting legacy.

The Thames Gateway, the London Development Agency, the Greater London Authority and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority are all jostling for position on who will take control for managing the site when the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) disbands in 2014.

Each of the bodies has an interest, given that the Olympic site crosses administrative boundaries, but a failure to assign responsibility could hinder economic development and inward investment.

A regeneration specialist told LGC: 'The [London] mayor will definitely not let responsibility for the site go but it might reach some compromise with the Thames Gateway.

'The mayor and GLA are definitely in the driving seat, but the issue is whether if the GLA will have 100% control or a diluted level of responsibility given the various bodies keen to have some stake in the legacy.'

British Property Federation policy officer Matt Smith said: 'We are calling for greater certainty over the governance from 2012 and beyond and believe that one single, independent body or council would be best placed to take on this role to prevent too many groups going forwards with different priorities.

'Without certainty about what the main political power and driver behind legacy will be, people will not commit to legacy plans for the site. People will not want to move to the area, communities will not be built and we will not get sufficient interest from investors for future use of the site.'

Newham LBC's external relations manager with special responsibility for the 2012 unit, Nick Williams, added: 'It is imperative the responsibilities are clarified at the earliest opportunity.

'All of [the five London boroughs] are anxious about it. We would like to have discussions with the agencies that are responsible for the legacy prior to submissions for planning being made to the ODA.'

A decision is expected to be reached by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport by the end of the year.

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