Design will include only one covered stand and remain athletics venue as masterplan unveiled

The design for the 2012 Olympic stadium will have to be reined in to make it more affordable.

Building understands that the stadium is being scaled down, which explains the delay in releasing the first images. These were expected last month.

A source close to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said it would be “a much lighter stadium”. For instance, only one stand will be covered.

“It’s all about making it affordable in the Games and the legacy mode,” said the source. “It’s not going to look like a super-duper football stadium but like an Olympic stadium.”

The 80,000-seater stadium being designed by architect HOK, which is part of Sir Robert McAlpine’s winning consortium, was always intended to be scaled down to a 25,000-seat venue after the Games. It would then be used as a football and rugby stadium.

Now, the idea is to keep it as an athletics venue. The number of seats will stay the same, but the configuration will change to keep costs down.

The stadium’s price is estimated at £400m, but this has not been confirmed as the ODA and Treasury are still finalising the budget before making it public.

David Higgins, the ODA’s chief executive, said this week that details of the budget would be “resolved in the short term”, adding that the costs were “not spiralling out of control”. The Olympic board was due to discuss the stadium on Wednesday, after Building went to press.

Also this week, the ODA submitted a planning application for the Olympic park – the largest scheme ever submitted in the UK (see picture).

The 10,000-page application was drawn up by a team led by EDAW and including Allies and Morrison, HOK Sport, Foreign Office Architects and Buro Happold. It proposes a 246ha scheme, including venues, parks, infrastructure, utilities.

The application covers site preparation and the construction and legacy of the Olympic park. This will house three temporary and five permanent venues: the stadium, aquatics centre, velodrome, handball arena and a training facilities at Eton Manor.

More details on the masterplan at