Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Thursday, 30 June 2011 17:39 UK

MPs back Olympics police park base plans

MPs have backed plans to allow police to set up a temporary base in Epping Forest during the 2012 Olympics despite local opposition to the idea.

The Metropolitan Police will turn part of Epping Forest in north east London known as the Wanstead Flats into a "muster, briefing and deployment centre" for the Games.

Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone told MPs police were preparing for the "largest peacetime security operation this country has ever seen".

But some residents and users of the space are concerned by the plans.

The minister said the government accepted there "will obviously be some disruption and some inconvenience to local people".

"However," she added, "we are satisfied that this is the best solution to a specific problem serving the wider public interest."

The Met will pay £170,000 in lieu of rent and make good the site after dismantling the temporary base.

Labour's John Cryer, Leyton and Wanstead MP, spoke out against the order due to "very, very deep concerns" from his constituents.

But Tory Eleanor Laing, MP for Epping Forest, supported the order because it was for a temporary period only.

"If it was a general order which allowed the forest to be used in any way in perpetuity I would join with Mr Cryer in expressing very deep concern," she added.

The motion was passed by MPs without a vote.

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