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Under-budgeted Olympic land may cause LDA cutbacks

A multi-million pound shortfall is being investigated at the London Development Agency after it was found the group had failed to make provisions for some payments to former land owners at the Olympic Park.

The LDA’s group director of strategy, resources and performance Andrew Travers said the black hole could lead to cutbacks to other future projects.

Mr Travers appeared before the London Assembly’s budget monitoring sub-committee after reports that the regeneration budget for the Olympic Park had suffered a shortfall of between £60 million and £100 million.

The LDA has a £1.1 billion Olympic land budget which includes money for compulsory purchase orders.

He told the committee: “The position is that the transactions in respect of LDA Olympic obligations are complex and obviously involved major compulsory purchase orders and in dealing with that a large number of individual businesses.

“These cases are complex and take a long time to resolve.

“It is the case that the figures will exceed the budget we have previously set aside.”

More than 3,000 businesses or individuals had to be dealt with by the LDA, London Mayor Boris Johnson’s business and economic agency, in securing the land in East London where the 2012 Games will be staged.

The LDA has called in accountants KPMG to investigate the accounts and make recommendations. KPMG is expected to report back at the end of the month.