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Olympic stadium dispute 'must end'

The Olympic legacy chief has called for the dispute over the use of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games to be over by the end of this year.

Baroness Ford suggested a public consultation could be used to help decide the long-term future of the stadium.

Premier League football club West Ham want to move into the east London stadium when the Games have finished, but a number of other parties have also shown an interest.

Baroness Ford, chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), which is in charge of planning, developing and managing the venue, said: “It seems the time is absolutely right now to go into a public process to get a set of settled uses for the stadium.

“This is a £540 million public asset so it goes without saying that we are not just going to have some conversation off stage left and someone is going to take over the stadium.”

An OPLC prospectus will be published in the next few weeks, in which people will be invited to come forward with ideas and suggestions about how the Olympic Stadium can be best put to use, and what legacy it will leave.

The market testing stage will last for three months, before a formal procurement process then takes place.

Baroness Ford told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee: “We are really hoping we will get to an agreed position by the end of the year so we can say ‘here are the uses for the stadium’ and we can put that to one side and get on with other things.”