The estimated costs of the remediation of the toxic waste which riddles the Olympic site were assumed to be enough to ensure that the site would be clear for development after the Games. But as Andrew Boff, a member of the London Assembly and Conservative spokesman on the Olympics, made clear in a statement in The Guardian in June, the ODA coming in under budget at the time is only a Pyrrhic victory. The site is fit for use up to and including London 2012, but its future after this remains uncertain.
“I thought the £9.3bn cost would provide a remediation level sufficient for future development. But what we are left with is remediation which is just enough for us to hold the Games. The ODA is very proud that it came in under budget on remediation. I wish it had spent the whole amount and made the site fit for the future.”
It was revealed earlier this month that the cost of the remediation has hit the £12.7m mark (to be funded, apparently, by Mr and Mrs Taxpayer), but despite this, the clean-up will have to continue well after the Games have left our shores, due to the careless demolition of a chemical storage facility that stood in the way of plans for the main stadium. The result of which is a grave way ahead – cleaning up the contamination will cost more than first anticipated and the idea has to be rethought. In such a context, ‘clean-up’ can only really be held to mean ‘contain’ – such chemical pollution is difficult to detect unless one knows where to look.