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Residents fire-off Olympic criticism

PUBLISHED: 12:23 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:17 25 August 2010



Date: 18.01.08

Dartford Gun Club
Joyce Green Lane,
Dartford
DA1 5PN

Feature on the club that is trying to get permission for use in the Olympics 2012 for shooting events and other issues surrounding sport and the wider gun debate.

Gordon Lee

Ref:  Pictures by  Andy Barnes

Date: 18.01.08 Dartford Gun Club Joyce Green Lane, Dartford DA1 5PN Feature on the club that is trying to get permission for use in the Olympics 2012 for shooting events and other issues surrounding sport and the wider gun debate. Gordon Lee Ref: Pictures by Andy Barnes

Kentish Times

CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a government decision to review the location of three Olympic sites.

CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a government decision to review the location of three Olympic sites.

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell ordered an investigation last Thursday into the cost effectiveness and impact of three proposed venues for London 2012.

The equestrian, shooting and basketball venues in Greenwich, Woolwich and East London will be analysed by accountancy firm KPMG after communities expressed concern about the damage and expense of certain sites.

Residents have slammed the proposal to use the 185-acre royal park in Greenwich for horse riding events fearing damage to trees. And the decision to host shooting events at The Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich rather than Dartford has also come under fire.

Michael Goldman, of pressure group NOGOE (NO to Greenwich Olympic Equestrian Events), claims that their concerns have been overlooked by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

He said: "The case for the opposition is not mere nimbyism, there are real, practical objections involved that LOCOG has been very slow to react to. The cross country jumping event will cause permanent damage to the park."

Gordon Lee, manager of Dartford Clay Shooting Club, fears millions of pounds will be wasted on a temporary site at Woolwich when facilities are already in place at Dartford.

He said: "I can guarantee that the plans for Dartford would have cost at least £7 million less. The indoor shooting ranges would have been used after 2012 by the community for other indoor games like netball. The site would even have been large enough international fixtures like World Cup qualifiers."

Announcing the plans, Ms Jowell said: "When you take the costs of these venues, it seems like a lot of money to a lot of people. It's sort of testing-to-destruction to see whether that spending can be justified."

But she said that scrapping the plans for the proposed venues is "possible but unlikely".

The equestrian events for London 2012 could run into tens of millions of pounds after this year's venue in Beijing cost £52 million to build with a further £15 to £20 million to stage the events.

The building plans at Woolwich could cost up to £25 million and the structure will be taken down eight days after the event.

Despite widespread opposition in his constituency, Nick Raynsford MP is reluctant to openly criticise the use of Greenwich Park. In a letter to a national newspaper in June, he wrote: "Staging the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian events in Greenwich Park does not mean 'the destruction of a 300-year-old avenue of ancient oaks' let alone 'the loss of wonderful views over the city'." For more information on NOGOE and Greenwich Park, log on to www.nogoe12.com. For Woolwich Barracks, log on to http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/OlympicShooting/.

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