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Planning & Development

Olympics Land Wars and Judicial Reviews

Following the recent debacle over the Circus Field Nogoe has announced that it is seeking legal advice on and preparing to seek judicial review of Greenwich Council's planning board decision of 26 January 2012.

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Circus Field - Cuckoo comes early to Greenwich

Unsurprisingly Locog's planning application for its activities in Greenwich Park was passed by Greenwich's Planning Committee. Three of the nine members of the Committee, including the Leader of the Council, failed to turn up. It is questionable whether it and other Olympic Borough Planning Committees still deserve that name so corrupted has the local planning system been by the progress of the juggernaut.

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Circus Field - Bring on the Clowns!

The circus goes on! Having elicited the information from Greenwich Council's Senior Planning Solicitor that the ODA had requested that the LDA purchase Blackheath Circus Field on its behalf, NOGOE's Rachel Mawhood was surprised by the response from the ODA to a Freedom of Information request submitted on 20th December 2011 in which she had written:

'I understand, LOCOG intends to use the Olympics Act 2006 somehow to circumvent the 1866 and 1871 legislation to empower themselves to enclose Circus Field in 2012.

Which part of the Olympics Act says that it can be used to over-ride the Metropolitan Commons Act 1866 and Supplemental Act 1871?'

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What a Circus!

Following the revelation that the Blackheath Circus Field had been purchased by the ODA NOGOE2012 has pressed on to uncover more details about the transaction. It turns out that the purchase was actually made by the LDA.

Mrs Mawhood of NOGOE pointed out to the Greenwich Senior Planning Solicitor that the Olympics Act required that purchases of land for the purposes of the Olympics have to be made by a Regional Development Agency, which the ODA is not. The Solicitor has responded that the ODA has got around this problem by requesting the LDA buy the land on its behalf, so the LDA has taken out a short lease from the Crown Estate Commissioners and the Queen.

Dear Mrs Mawhood

The London Development Agency (LDA) is a regional development agency for
the purposes of the London 2012 Act. The LDA was designated as a
development agency for the Greater London Area under Schedule 1 of the
Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. The LDA is acting at the request
of the ODA as set out in s.36(1) in acquiring a short lease of Circus
Field from the Crown Estates owner of this part of the registered common.

The lease is made between Her Majesty the Queen, the Crown Estate
Commissioners and the London Development Agency, and an under lease of
the Circus Field has been made between the LDA and LOCOG by licence to
underlet from the Crown Estate Commissioners.


Suan White
Senior Planning Solicitor
Greenwich Council

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What a merry-go-round! ODA buys Blackheath Circus Field

The Olympic Delivery Authority, ODA, has bought the Circus Field at Blackheath to overcome the provision in Section 4 of the Metropolitan Commons Supplemental Act 1871 which bars the Management Board for the heath, now Greenwich Council, from enclosing any part of the Circus Field. This purchase enables the ODA to use Section 36 of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Act 2006 to achieve exactly that result!

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More open space occupied by Olympics

The Olympics continues to spread out into neighbouring areas. In addition to the police takeover of Wanstead Flats a campsite for 5000 is planned at Low Hall Sports Ground in Walthamstow and a Basketball training centre is to be built at Leyton Marsh.

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What's a favela? Olympics and policing in Rio

What is a favela, a slum or a 100 year old community without services? What happens when the police move in? Gentrification?

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The Spectacular Construction of an Olympic Metropolis - Anne-Marie Broudehoux

The Spectacular Construction of an Olympic Metropolis
Anne-Marie Broudehoux
University of Quebec, Montreal

ABSTRACT: This article presents a critical review of Beijing’s Olympic redevelopment, and of the social, economic, and political impacts of hosting mega events as a means of urban image construction. Through an analysis of Olympic projects, city marketing initiatives, and their impact on the city’s material and cultural landscape, this article postulates that Beijing’s spatial restructuring and image construction program played an important role in exacerbating the profound inequalities that have come to epitomize China’s transition to capitalism within an autocratic political system. Acting as a developmental engine legitimating large-scale urban transformations, the Olympics have helped concentrate economic and political power in the hands of a coalition of government leaders and private investors and allowed their interests to dominate the planning agenda. Beijing’s spectacular Olympic preparations have in many ways acted as a propaganda tool and an instrument of pacification to divert popular attention from the shortcomings of China’s rapid economic transformation, accompanied by rampant land speculation, corruption, and uneven development.

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