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Lies and ignorance about the legacy - it's not academic

No wonder people get confused about Stratford City, the Athletes’ Village, the Olympic Park and the Legacy. Earlier in the autumn we had the fiction from the Centre for Economic and Business Research of the 'highly rated' E20 postcode's Chobham Academy even though it hadn't yet opened. Recently the Academy opened its doors to children who wanted to apply. The Evening Standard told us the Chobham Academy is an Olympic Legacy, forgetting to mention that it's the community school described in the West Leyton part of the Stratford City project, created under a separate non-Olympic planning application and not an Olympic legacy. Another commentator, the recently launched London Olympic Park Watch, which describes itself as an 'independent...constructively critical observer', says the school is 'in the Olympic Park' which of course it isn't. Stratford City, where the Academy, like the Athletes’ Village, is situated, is not in the Olympic Park but on the Stratford Rail Lands, the large piece of land which includes the Westfield Shopping Centre.

A while ago I went to a talk on the Olympics, comparing London and Tokyo. One of the speakers was Professor John Gold of Oxford Brookes University. He informed his audience that the Academy and the Athletes’ Village were built as Olympic legacies. I pointed out that this was not true, that they were part of the Stratford City project. He immediately agreed!

These are not 'academic' points, to coin a phrase. To assess a project it is necessary to know what that project consists of. Mount Olympus may be lost in clouds of unknowing, journalists and academics should inhabit the plains.

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