£159m Olympics 'black hole'

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The Independent Online

The project to buy up land for the London 2012 Olympics has overspent by £159m, according to papers published yesterday. The documents, from the London Development Agency (LDA), show that the amount represents "increased Olympic land commitments". The LDA has called on the accountant KPMG to investigate spending.

"This has major implications for the medium and long-term financial position of the agency, and these issues will need to be resolved through the set-up arrangements for the Olympic Park Legacy Company," the papers state. The impact on the 2009-10 budget is a shortfall of £94m which needs to be resolved immediately."

The LDA had to pay more than 3,000 businesses and individuals to buy land for the 600-hectare site in Stratford, east London, through compulsory purchase orders. Revised budgets for 2009-10 "will require careful management to ensure that no further net overspends occur".