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ODA Planning Committee approves Legacy scheme for the Olympic Park

The Planning Committee of the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) has resolved to grant outline planning permission for the proposed development of the Olympic Park following the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

The 'Legacy Communities Scheme' will redevelop some 64.4 hectares of land within the Olympic Park, to be known post Games as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Scheme could produce up to 6,870 new homes across five new neighbourhoods. Plans also include two new primary schools, a secondary school, playing fields, nurseries, community space and health centres.

Before planning permission can be formally granted for the Legacy Communities Scheme, the Scheme must be referred to the Secretary of State as a departure from the Development Plan and also due to the size of retail floorspace. The Secretary of State will then decide whether or not to call in the application for his own determination. In addition, the Scheme must be referred to the GLA given its strategic importance. The grant of planning permission is also subject to the successful completion of a section 106 planning agreement.

The decision by the ODA Planning Committee is the culmination of three years of intensive planning work, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) said, which ended in a six hour committee meeting prior to the approval of the plans.

The approval of the Scheme, which was originally drawn up by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, now incorporated into the LLDC, means that the Scheme is on course to develop its first neighbourhood - Chobham Manor - after the Games finish. The first homes are planned to be ready at the end of 2014. The Scheme will be delivered in three phases; Phase 1 between 2013 and 2014, Phase 2 between 2015 and 2021 and Phase 3 between 2022 and 2031.

"We are delighted with the decision to approve our planning application for one of the most important regeneration projects in the London's history," said Daniel Moylan, chairman of the LLDC. "These five neighbourhoods will stitch together the surrounding communities of a formerly isolated area through new homes, schools, shops, parks, infrastructure and jobs."

"London is already further ahead in planning legacy than any previous Host Olympic City and now...,we can begin to build the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park's first neighbourhood once the 2012 Games finish."

Of the proposed 6,870 new homes, there is a target to provide 35% affordable housing (with a guaranteed minimum of 20%), , and around 42% of the homes would be suitable for family accommodation.

Three new schools - two primary schools and a secondary school - will support the neighbourhoods and the surrounding area; along with Chobham Academy school, which sits just next to the Olympic Village and will open in September 2013, the LLDC said.

Plans also include nine nurseries, three health centres and 12 multi-purpose community spaces, which could be community centres, libraries and gyms. The facilities are planned to be within walking and cycling distance of each neighbourhood but also accessible to those not living in the Park.

"This is a huge step forward in turning the vision for the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a reality that will revolutionise the face of East London and deliver a lasting legacy for the capital," said Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. "Creating a fantastic new community in which thousands of people can live and work, it is without doubt the most important regeneration project that the city has seen in 25 years."

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