ODA to sell off Stratford site to raise funds

30 July 2010

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is preparing plans to sell off the site next to Stratford International station to return money to the Treasury after the 2012 Games, Building reported.

A source close to the process told Building the organisation would work to “rationalise the planning position” for the 10-acre site between the station and the athletes’ village, which it bought from London and Continental Railways earlier this year. The site is earmarked for hundreds of homes.

However, the proposal to sell the site with planning permission is at odds with the strategy of sister body the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC). Andrew Altman, its chief executive, confirmed that it intended to hold on to its public land in its part of the park to ensure the speed and quality of the redevelopment.

The source told Building that the ODA would look “to put the land on the market” after 2012 to cut the cost of the Games. The deal was noted by the ODA last week in its annual accounts.

In the autumn, the OPLC is to outline plans to build 8,000-10,000 homes in the park.

It will begin a tender process next month to choose the end user of the Olympic stadium. The body has reviewed the tens of bids it received, including one from West Ham FC and Newham council, and one from AEG, which owns the O2 arena in Greenwich.

The ODA this week said 70% of construction works for the Games was complete. Last week’s accounts revealed that the expected cost of the project had risen by £17m but the Games’ sponsor department, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, said the cost of the aquatics centre could rise. However, this still falls well within the £9.3bn budget.

John Armitt, the ODA chairman, said: “Senior management has ensured that this multi-billion-pound project with a fixed deadline is on track and within budget, making £700m savings.”

Meanwhile, Building reported that ODA bosses claimed £56,000 in expenses over the past year. The biggest claim came from Howard Shiplee, the ODA’s construction director, who built up an expenses tab of £15,056 in 12 months, which included £10,023 for 69 nights in hotels and £773 for entertaining guests. 

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