The Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events and the equestrian segment of the modern pentathlon are planned to take place at the Greenwich Royal Park in 2012
Whilst in the park, spectators will be able to enjoy the events on show against the backdrop of the National Maritime Museum.
Information : Planning Process
The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) submitted a planning application for the Olympic event in Greenwich Park. The application was received on 30 November 2009. Consultation ended in January 2010.
The application was approved at a public meeting of the Planning Board meeting on 23 March.
Even though it may be exciting in some aspects having an Olympic event at the park, there have been concerns that an event as big as this could have adverse effects on the environmental aspects. A Q&A is avaliable from the London 2012 regarding this, but here are a few examples of how they plan to protect the park:
How long will it take to restore the Park?
“All of the structures we would be putting in for the Games are temporary and would be removed afterwards. We are clear in our planning application that all ground works related to the Games will be completed by November 2012. Alongside this reinstatement programme we are working with The Royal Parks to make improvements to the condition of the Park.
Following the Games, The Royal Parks will implement a substantial three-year Acid Grassland Restoration Programme to improve the extent of high quality grassland within the Park to leave a lasting legacy. This activity would be funded by LOCOG.”
How will you ensure that you won’t damage the Park?
“We take our responsibilities very seriously and our planning application shows the detailed work we have carried out on all aspects of our plans for Greenwich Park. We will make sure that we return the Park in the condition in which we receive it, and we have fully involved The Royal Parks and English Heritage in the development of all studies and plans.
The potential impacts of our plans have been thoroughly assessed as part of our Environmental Impact Assessment within our Planning Application. This assessment has concluded that it would be possible to do this without creating long term damage to the Park.
The Royal Parks is responsible for management of the Park and maintaining the biodiversity of the Park. They will continue to monitor and manage our activity in the Park to ensure there is no long term damage.”
What about the possible damage to tree roots?
“Arboricultural experts have worked with us to ensure the Cross Country course will not adversely affect any trees. We will continue to work with them, as well as with The Royal Parks, English Heritage and Natural England, to ensure any necessary protective measures are in place to protect trees and root areas while developing the course, and from any impact that might be caused by spectators.
As we have always maintained, no trees will be removed from the Park.
Some minor tree pruning is unavoidable but will be undertaken on a case by case basis, with input from an arboriculturist accustomed to working in historic landscapes and under the direction of The Royal Parks. Minor pruning of this nature takes place routinely as part of The Royal Parks’ normal maintenance programmes.”
Whether they stick the guidelines is another matter altogether but we can be certain that there will be uproar by the local community if any irreversible damage is caused.