Regeneration of East London (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
April 4, 2001
Question By: 
Elizabeth Howlett
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Can I just ask the Mayor if he has heard something that I have heard a whisper about - that yesterday the Standing Committee on Culture at the House of Commons has expressed doubt about the World Athletic Championships managing to get going in 2005? That bid was won on the back of the use of Wembley. Now that Wembley cannot be used, Picketts Lock is the next thing. They expressed a doubt yesterday that that would happen, considering the difficulty with transport access as well as the stadium having to be built.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Regeneration of East London (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Regeneration of East London (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I went with a delegation of officers and Nicky Gavron to meet Chris Smith and Kate Hoey a couple of weeks ago to discuss this. They made absolutely clear the total commitment of the Government to having Picketts Lock ready for the International Athletics Championships in 2005. Their latest projection on completion of the stadium was that there would be a six-month safety window between the completion and the event.

On a five-year timescale, that fills me with some alarm The Government intend to sign the contract, which I have made it clear we can't, because under the laws of Monaco, signing the contract would commit you to virtually everything that goes wrong; it would have been a very unwise deal.

But the real commitment we have to face is the construction of a new railway station at Picketts Lock. When I looked at the plans, I was horrified to find a civil servant saying, "We will need to take the back gardens of these houses in order to build the station." That would take us immediately in compulsory purchase order and appeals. We took a decision there and then that we would have a very long, thin railway station, which does not have to take back gardens, and therefore can be constructed without having to go through compulsory purchase order procedure.