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Olympic shooting venue under fire

A dispute has broken out between Olympic organisers and the governing body of British shooting over the Olympic venue in Woolwich.

Philip Boakes, the chairman of British Shooting, has written to every MP calling for the venue to be changed. he claims it is a waste of £25 million to build the ranges only to demolish them at the end of the Games. A separate petition organised by competitive shooters has also been launched.

Boakes wants the venue moved to Dartford and the money - which is coming from the London organising committee and is not public money - invested into a shooting range that will remain after the Games.

London 2012 insists the shooting venue has to be as close as possible to the Olympic Park.

In his letter to MPs, Boakes wrote: “It simply does not make sense to build the facility at a cost of £18.6 million, use it for a maximum of six weeks and then demolish it at a further cost of £4 million (both figures plus VAT) leaving the sport with nothing to show for the £25 million spend.”

London 2012 chiefs had originally earmarked Bisley but moved the venue to Woolwich during the bid to bring it much closer to the Olympic Park.

They admit the venue will be dismantled after the Games but insist the ranges can be relocated to other established shooting sites. A spokesperson said London organising committee was in detailed discussions with the army and Greenwich Borough Council about long-term legacy uses of the shooting facilities.