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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Businesses pen IOC protest letter
An image of how London's 2012 Olympic stadium would look
Businesses would have to move to make way for London's stadium
A group of businesses has written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to protest against London's bid to host the 2012 Games.

The businesses are based at Marshgate Lane in Newham, where London's new Olympic stadium would be built.

"Our attempts to negotiate fair treatment, if the businesses need to be relocated, have failed," said a letter from the Marshgate Lane Business Group.

"Consequently we are forced to withdraw our support for London's 2012 bid."

Relocation negotiations are being handled on behalf of the London bid by the London Development Agency (LDA).

The LDA has identified 284 businesses in the Marshgate Lane area that would be affected.

We are confident that our offers represent the market value of the properties concerned
LDA spokesman
Some of them voiced their concerns to the IOC's evaluation commission when it visited London in March.

And the letter to the IOC followed a meeting with LDA and London 2012 representatives in Stratford last week.

The letter said 150 businesses had been represented at the meeting, and claimed they had voted to give the LDA a week to resolve the problem, without success.

It added: "It has become abundantly clear too that there is insufficient suitable land available in the area with appropriate planning consents, similar site access and utilities.

"This means that there is no practical way for all of the businesses to relocate outside the proposed Olympic Park.

"We now have to choose between our businesses and jobs or London's bid."

Market value

London is vying with Paris, New York, Madrid and Moscow to stage the Games.

And an LDA spokesman told BBC Sport that many businesses had decided to delay negotiations until after 6 July, when the IOC is due to choose the winner.

"We will not know until July whether London will host the 2012 Games, and most businesses will not be required to relocate unless we are actually hosting them," he said.

"Given the two-year relocation period we have provided, many businesses have said that they would prefer not to discuss assistance with relocation until after July.

"We are confident that our offers represent the market value of the properties concerned, which is what, as a public body, we are statutorily required to provide.

"The option is there for businesses to take the valuation to independent arbitration if they are not satisfied."

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the concerns, which is why we facilitated a meeting for the businesses with the evaluation commission.

"The issue is in the hands of the LDA, and we are hopeful it will be resolved."


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