Olympics organisers step up Greenwich consultation

The organisers of the 2012 Olympics are to hold an exhibition later this month as they step up their campaign to get the public behind equestrian events in Greenwich Park.

LOCOG will take over a shop in College Approach, Greenwich, from 21-25 and 28-31 October to show off their vision for Greenwich Park during summer 2012.

It has also launched a new website and homes across Greenwich borough, and parts of Lewisham, are being sent information about the Games from LOCOG.

Greenwich Park will be closed for four weeks in 2012 to accommodate the events, although the site of the equestrian stadium – at the north end of the park – will be closed off for several months. In addition, a “test event” will be held in summer 2011.

LOCOG’s consultation comes ahead of its formal planning application to Greenwich Council, which is due to be submitted at the end of November. It also follows pressure group NOGOE‘s “ring around the park” event on Sunday, which attracted up to 300 people to a protest at the site of the planned equestrian stadium. NOGOE claims the park will be damaged by holding the events, a charge vigorously denied by LOCOG.


Let battle commence? It’s been interesting reading the comments on the Greenwich Phantom’s site, where there’s a slim majority against the events, and on Brockley Central, which has taken a cheerful “if Greenwich doesn’t want it, we’ll have it”, attitude. I was in the park on Sunday during the demonstration and saw little sign of it – the petition table aside – apart from a Barbour-clad woman, who’d just emerged from a house in one of west Greenwich’s poshest streets, telling the group I was with we should all go and “save the park”. We declined. “Think of the people in high-rise flats!”, she said.

I’ve been pretty critical on this site of LOCOG’s relative invisibility – a charge its staff reject, incidentally, pointing out that they’ve done a lot of work in their own time to try to convince Greenwich (and Woolwich) people of the benefits of the games. The planning application means that it would have to step up its consultation work, but having a shop in central Greenwich is an excellent idea. It’s just a shame that it is only a temporary exhibition, for funding for something permanent could help boost the image of 2012 in general. However, “Olympics” and “budget” combine to make a phrase which gives politicians many sleepless nights right now… I still, however, think that LOCOG should be having regular public meetings to keep us informed.

I think LOCOG also need to be aware that their “Olympic borough” colleagues in Greenwich Council undermine their efforts every time they up their own propaganda – their Greenwich Time special was every bit as misleading as some of NOGOE’s supporters’ shrill, hysterical attacks on the games. It could be argued pressure from NOGOE has forced some concessions on the course and park closures – but the public conduct of some of its activists damages its name.

Let LOCOG present its case to the people, and let the people decide. And tell ’em what you think.


  1. I’m sorry, just 300 NIMBYs! They couldn’t play a decent game of ring-a-roses with that many people. With those numbers I can kind of see why the Olympics organisers don’t really give a shit.

    Oh and once again if Greenwich doesn’t want it and everyone in Brockley is too busy being edgy Bromley will happily step in.

  2. Actually, One Response, Brockley Central would be happy to have it.

    I do feel sorry for the NOGOErs, though. They’re going to lose 400 parking places in Greenwich Car Park for a whole month! If they were really concerned about Greenwich Park, they’d have campaigned to convert it back from being an upmarket car park, and if they were concerned about recreation they would have campaigned to get more than 5 places* to lock a bike. I don’t remember hearing their views on this.

    *Though to be fair there are another 5 or so”Sheffield” stands outside the park. But still, that only takes provision up to a theoretical maximum of 20 bikes.

  3. This NOGOEer does not have a car. In fact, my carbon footprint is pretty well nil. I bet you can’t say the same, Deptford Marmoset.

  4. Indigo, didn’t the reference to cycling give you a clue? I don’t run a car and I have been threatened with arrest for attaching my bike to a railing in the park by a parks policeman called McLeod, who incidentally could not name a single bike parking stand in the park. At the time, there were none at all. Which is why I know how many stands (10, inside and outside) there are and why I know that there 400 car parking places there.

    But you’re right, I can’t say that my carbon footprint is near to nil. Though I recycle all that I can, have used only low energy bulbs for years, generally live a modest low-expenditure life and haven’t flown for over 4 years, all the usual stuff, I actually have no idea quite how much carbon was produced in making, say, my bike. I simply don’t know how much was used and there’s no handy way of telling. And the more I cycle the more calories I consume – again I have no idea how that affects my carbon tyreprint. I don’t feel virtuous about this – hell, I’m even online so I’m wasting fuel, and almost definitely my time, writing this post.

    I think I’d better stop now before I hear the heavy plodding of the carbon police on my doorstep.

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