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Plans To Redevelop London’s Olympic Park Next Year To An Expansive Eco-Focused Community

The London Legacy Development Corp. (LLDC) has just unveiled its plans for redeveloping the area encompassing the Olympic Games this month to what will later be known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park district.

The London Legacy Development Corp. (LLDC) has announced its redevelopment plans for what will be known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park community district. Photo courtesy of the LLDC.

The new park district - which will begin re-opening its gates next July - will combine new neighborhoods, upscale sport and entertainment venues, park areas, and waterways.

The LLDC says it wants to get people back into the park as soon as possible, so the park will open back up again in phases.

The first part to re-open will be the North Park in July 2013, which will have a nature-themed community hub, including acres of green parklands, a community events lawn for picnics, footpaths, and play areas for children.

The LLDC says the community area “will be centered around a hub building with a café, reception area, offices, toilets, and a flexible space that can be used by schools and community groups. It will be timber clad to fit in with the natural environment with solar panels added to its roof for green energy.”

The North Park will also have a multi-use indoor entertainment venue (for sporting events, concerts, and other activities), with a 7,500 person capacity.

Visitors to the North Park will be able to come in through the entrances in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest. In addition, pedestrian will have access through Eton Manor. The LLDC says that the remainder of the North Park will re-open at the end of 2013, and will include other visitor entrance points including Lee Valley VeloPark.

The second part of the park to re-open will be the South Plaza during the Easter of 2014, which will include some of the park’s now iconic venues, including the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the Aquatics Center.

The Aquatics Center will be adapted for everyday use, including aqua-fitness classes, family swims, and lane swimming. The LLDC says that the center “will have fully equipped changing rooms, which will be available for use at standard local London prices – currently £4.35 per swim.”

This second phase of the park’s re-opening will give visitors access to the whole park, with new entrances opening from the Westfield shopping center and Stratford High Street in Newham.

The LLDC also announced plans last week “to develop its first neighborhood Chobham Manor after the Games finish, with the first family homes set to be ready at the end of 2014.”

The plans will cover 158 acres of the 558 acres of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with up to 6,800 homes planned across five neighborhoods. They will serve new and existing residents of East London with new schools, nurseries, shops, community spaces, and health centers.

The public helped to decide the names of the five new neighborhoods through a naming competition last year. They are: Chobham Manor, East Wick, Sweetwater, Marshgate Warf, and Pudding Mill.

Around 40 percent of the homes are expected to be family homes with “the majority of the neighborhoods drawing inspiration from London’s heritage of terraced housing. Up to 35 percent will be affordable housing in line with the London Plan,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“Three new schools, two primary schools and a secondary school, will support the neighborhoods and the surrounding area along with Chobham Academy school, which sits just next to the Olympic Village and will open September 2013,” added the mayor.

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