Delivery body to develop plans in bid to cut the cost of Games as two-year milestone is passed
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is to work up plans for hundreds of homes next to Stratford International station to return money to the Treasury after the 2012 Games.
A source close to the process said 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 source said 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.
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.
In the autumn, the OPLC is to outline plans to build 8,000-10,000 homes in the park, down from the original plan for 10,000-12,000.
It will next month start a tender process 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; the Games’ sponsor department 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.”
The £56,000 expenses bill
Chiefs at the Olympic Delivery Authority claimed £56,000 in expenses over the past year for items including flowers, newspapers and cups of coffee.
The biggest claim came from Howard Shiplee, the ODA’s construction director, who built up an expenses tab of £15,056 in 12 months. His claim included £10,023 for 69 nights in hotels and £773 for entertaining guests. He also claimed £1,011 in fees for the Institution of Civil Engineers, including two years of subscription charges and a one-off fee to become a fellow.
David Higgins, the ODA’s chief executive, was thrifty by comparison, claiming a total of £2,396 and hosting meetings at a local Costa Coffee. Chairman John Armitt claimed £8,947, including one cost-efficient lunch for two for £20.27 at Waitrose.
Most caring claim £40 flowers for pregnant ODA staffer by Armitt.
Most frequented eateries First Edition in Docklands, the House of Commons and Starbucks. Shiplee’s favourite restaurant was Plateau in Canary Wharf, which describes itself as “futuristic” and with “all the glamour of Manhattan”.
Most festive claim £12.49 for Christmas cards by Shiplee.