LDA met with more protests over compulsory land purchase in east London

Mayor Ken Livingstone has defended the London Development Agency’s use of Compulsory Purchasing Orders to buy the land previously earmarked for the Stratford City project. The land is needed for the development of the Olympic site in east London.

London and Continental Railways, which owns the land, says it will continue to negotiate with the London Development Agency after its decision to use a CPO.

Mayor Ken Livingstone approved LCR’s plans for the £4bn development earlier this year, but says that the LDA issued the CPO to avert a potential crisis, in the event that a land-owner effectively held the LDA to ransom as it worked to meet the construction deadlines for the 2012 Games. But developers have accused the LDA of “control freakery”, and said that they are “shocked and disappointed” that it had used such statutory powers to buy the land.

Next week the agency will meet with firms from Margate Lane, Stratford, where the Olympic stadium will be built. The firms allege that negotiations had stalled because the agency has tried to by the land at such low prices. The LDA denies the claim, saying that a number of businesses had been involved in a political campaign to “try to get the International Olympic Committee to give the Games to another city.”