Councillors across all parties were united last week in saying that the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Development Agency have “shafted” the people of Waltham Forest.
At a planning committee, called to discuss plans put forward by the ODA, a furious Matt Davies, Conservative deputy leader, was joined by Labour Cllr Eric Sizer and Liberal Democrat Noel Penstone in denouncing the ODA for its failure to provide the borough with its share of the promised East End regeneration.
Cllr Davis said: “We have got a warm-up facility, a wind turbine which has dubious environmental benefits and distinct disbenefits, a substation, a telecoms mast, a coach park, a car park, somebody else’s allotments and that looks like it.
“Perhaps that might be less painful had we got the things we were promised in the section 106 agreement but we have been shafted on that as well. What we are going to get is more congestion.”
Section 106 agreements provide new facilities or roads to offset what is lost.
Cllr Sizer, an “Olympics enthusiast”, was scarcely less angry.
Despite saying he thought the 2012 Games would bring some benefits, he had recently attended two “very depressing” presentations on the Olympics – one from the LDA who are responsible for securing the land and one from council officers.
“My enthusiasm is waning. We have been shafted left, right and centre. They have taken what we have away from us and used us as a dumping ground for things that nobody else would have wanted,” he said.
Labour Cllr Faiz Yunis called for the council to fight for its rights while Cllr Penstone called upon councillors to “express in no uncertain way our strong feelings” on the subject and asked how the authority could ensure the ODA would “take on board in a serious way” councillors’ objections.
But he was told that the council can only now play a consultative role in the planning of the Games.
Councillors agreed to object to the 35ft high telecoms mast and the wind turbine on the grounds that not enough information had been supplied.
By Hannah Crown
20 March 2007
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