Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Olympics will 'damage Greenwich's heritage features'

Artist's impression of equestrian events at Greenwich Park
Most of the park will close when it hosts 2012 events

Campaigners trying to stop 2012 Olympic equestrian events in Greenwich Park claim organisers have admitted it could damage "heritage features".

The campaign group No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events claim London 2012 admits in its planning application that such damage could be caused.

London 2012 has denied this and added anything of archaeological significance at the site would be protected.

Greenwich Council will decide on London 2012's application next month.

The disruption to the lives of local residents and the inconvenience to the millions who visit the park every year is unreasonable
Nogoe co-ordinator John Hine

A temporary 23,000-seat arena is planned to be built in the park during the Games and events such as show jumping and dressage hosted there.

No to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events (Nogoe) said London 2012's application says that "some heritage features could suffer permanent loss or partial loss", however, the organisers deny this.

The campaigners also said the risks of damage and the disruption are too much.

John Hine, Nogoe co-ordinator, said: "The risks to a leading World Heritage site are disproportionate.

"The disruption to the lives of local residents and the inconvenience to the millions who visit the park every year is unreasonable.

We are committed to protecting the Park
A London 2012 spokeswoman

"There are perfectly satisfactory alternative venues where the Games could be hosted without the massive damage and inconvenience that the Olympic authorities would inflict on Greenwich."

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: "The extensive studies undertaken by our independent experts have identified no significant impact to archaeological sites on the Park.

"We have been very clear in our planning application - if we find anything of archaeological significance, we will protect and record it in line with best practice national planning guidelines.

"We will be guided and managed by the experts, including English Heritage, and The Royal Parks, and will have an archaeologist on site as part of our plans.

"We are committed to protecting the Park, and any items of historical importance that are discovered during our preparation for the Games."



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