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Mayor to be questioned as Olympic Park legacy plans to be revisited

The Mayor of London’s chief of staff has told a London Assembly committee that the Olympic Park legacy plans will have to be revisited.

A report published by the Greater London Authority website tonight states that Sir Edward Lister told the assembly’s budget and performance committee that the money tied up in the site is now a key part of the Mayor’s regeneration budget going forward and must be spent to the best advantage of the Greater London Authority as a whole.

The move to revisit the legacy plans comes after a new deal (see below) was reached to cover the £231m of debt linked to purchasing the site.

Committee chair John Biggs said: “The new deal, while welcome in the long term, means that the Mayor will have to balance reducing the GLA’s debt against his regeneration aims.

“When we meet the Mayor next week we will ask him how he plans to manage these pressures going forward to ensure he gets the best outcome for Londoners.”

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is working to create a new publicly accessible park after the 2012 Games to incorporate up to 11,000 homes, social and cultural infrastructure and attempting to attract industries including research, innovation, media and new enterprises.

The new space will be designed to retain a sporting theme, plans include up to 35 km of new cycleways and footpaths, and will be home to the UK’s only VeloPark offering a purpose-built road cycle circuit, the Velodrome, BMX tracks and mountain-bike trails.

To create a new great park for London building on the capital’s tradition of parks such as St James’ and Hyde Park and its neighbourhood garden squares. The highly active park and premier centre for the enjoyment of sports, culture and recreation will offer a full variety of international, regional, community programmes and cultural events that celebrate the Olympic legacy

Mayor of London Boris Johnson will be questioned about the proposed 2012/2013 budget at City Hall on Tuesday, 10 January.

Legacy Plan and debt linked to the site’s purchase:

The debt the London Development Agency (LDA) took on to pay for the acquisition and remediation of the Olympic Park will transfer to the GLA on 1 April 2012.

The GLA is expecting to inherit £349 million of Olympic land debt and sufficient Government funding is being provided to reduce the debt to £231 million by 31 March 2014.  Under the old arrangement, the LDA was expecting grant funding to repay the entire sum.

According to the Mayor’s draft budget for 2012/13 the GLA will get full receipts from the sale of Sugar House Lane, plus the first £223m in land receipts.

After that there will be a 25:75 split between the GLA and Lottery until the Lottery has been repaid in full.

Finally there is a 50:50 split between the GLA and central government on any remaining land receipts. The government will also provide the GLA with an extra £12m in 2011-12 to put towards Olympic land debt costs over the next three years.

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