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Would you want to live on the Olympic Park?

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Adrian Warner | 12:57 UK time, Wednesday, 7 July 2010

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I got the first glimpse of what daily life will be like for the 10,000 competitors at the 2012 Olympics the other day. Well, where athletes will sleep and relax at least.

2012 have set up a show apartment in the athletes village and I joined the International Olympic Committee on a tour.

It didn't take long. An estate agent would call the three-bedroom flats "cosy". I'd call them compact.

Three bedrooms for six athletes, two small bathrooms and a small living room. Probably okay for a few weeks for six female Australian gymnasts but space will be tight for a handful of Bulgarian shot-putters.

But what really matters is that the village is at the heart of the Olympic Park which is rare for the Games. That means many competitors will be just a couple of minute's ride away from the venues, rather than a coach trip across the city.

During the bid, 2012 published sketches of athletes standing at their bedroom windows with a view of the main stadium. Some of the flats will have that but the reality is that most will look over the new Westfield shopping centre and its car park, hardly the most inspiring of views.

When the Games are over, these flats will be turned into 2,800 homes for Londoners, nearly half of them "affordable" homes.

Would l live there? Well, they should be plenty of green space in the Park when the Games are over so the views will be better. I also think these appartment blocks will be perfect for people heading into retirement.

You've got a major shopping centre over the road, a swimming pool nearby and a huge park to walk in every day. When you are heading towards 70 or 80 and maybe worry about driving a car, you'd have everything on your doorstep and still be within a short distance of central London by public transport.

These flats won't be on the market unil late 2011 and people will not be able to move in until 2014 when the Park and the blocks have been redesigned.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has a huge challenge in making the whole environment an attractive place to live after the Games.

Please take a look at my report and tell me what you think.


  • Comment number 1.

    Here's how I would answer the question...

    ...before reading your article: "Absolutely!"
    ...after reading it: "Maybe not."

    I imagine the Olympic Park would be a nice place to live, and the rooms seem rather nice. I actually wouldn't mind living there. However, I don't think they will be as "affordable" as they claim to be.

  • Comment number 2.

    I guess like all things in the housing market it depends on price.

    And what you get for it.

    1. Parking?
    2. Communal facilities?
    3. Distance to public transport?
    4. Soundproofing from flats on top, below and to the side (trust me, you don't want to hear a domestic at 2am and hearing the joys of others copulating isn't a USP)?
    5. Limitations on lifestyle e.g. playing music, owning a dog?
    6. How often will young folks be blareing out loud music at parties at the w/e?
    7. What is the quality of the workmanship - I saw flats where window fittings were starting to show signs of failure 3 years in, which isn't either acceptable or a USP for sale, thank you?
    8. What was the planned lifetime of the building? If less than 100 years, then it's not something I'd buy, although I'd be happy to rent.
    9. Do the flats possess an airing cupboard?
    10. Is the kitchen designed for healthy eating or putting a pizza in the frazzler? For two weeks it doesn't matter, for 3 years your health will suffer if the kitchen is rubbish. Most modern flats built between 1998 and 2004 should be condemned in terms of healthy eating....
    11. Security: ease of criminals gaining access to communal areas etc.
    12. Do the flats contain a larder where fresh food can be stored cool - too many modern flats see food rot far too fast yet host enormous fridge-freezers suitable for a family of 4 in a small 2 bed apartment. Why?
    13. Facilities for drying washed clothes: if it's always the lounge, then the room soon takes on the air of subprime properties. When will designers of flats find a solution to this? Communal washing lines outside which can be booked??
    14. Internet access in all rooms?
    15. Capability for satellite/cable?
    16. Storage space?
    17. Furnished/unfurnished??

    Just a few things which are always useful to know.........

  • Comment number 3.

    how much will they cost?

  • Comment number 4.

    What a great post by rjagger.

    I would consider living there if I could it. I do laugh when I hear about "percentages" of the properties being "affordable". The Olympic park was not a speculative building project but built with the nation's money and an addition to Council Tax from Londoners. Therefore 90% of the homes should be made over to housing associations/local council.


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