London 2012 ramps up Greenwich Park plans

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The Independent Online

The organisers of the London Olympics are pressing ahead with plans to use Greenwich Park to stage the equestrian events, claiming that they have now secured an overwhelming majority of local support.

LOCOG has submitted a planning application to Greenwich Council for a 23,000-seat temporary arena, a six-kilometre cross-country course and a modern pentathlon running course, as well as accompanying support facilities such as stables.

It was only in October that a survey organised by the London Assembly put opposition to the event at 68 per cent. Yesterday though, LOCOG, which has made strenuous efforts to calm residents' concerns, released figures showing 85 per cent support if the park is not closed for more than six weeks.

"We take our responsibilities seriously," said Lord Coe, LOCOG'c chairman. "Our planning application shows the lengths we are going to in order to make sure we return the park to The Royal Parks and the local community in the condition in which we will gratefully receive it."

The International Olympic Committee is considering dropping cycling's individual pursuit – twice won by Britain's Bradley Wiggins – from the London Games in order to even up the number of men's and women's events.