Leyton Orient lose Olympic Stadium tenancy review bid

Olympic Stadium
Image caption West Ham are expected to move into the Olympic Stadium in August 2016

Leyton Orient have lost their bid to win a judicial review into the decision to grant West Ham the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium.

The club argued the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) was wrong to award sole use to the Hammers and wanted to share the venue.

Orient said the club felt "a real sense of injustice" at the decision.

But at the High Court, Mr Justice Lewis said the LLDC was entitled to make the decision which was not "irrational".

'Deeply disappointing'

Leyton Orient had argued they did not want to "disrupt or delay" West Ham's move.

The club said they would now have to "look to the House of Lords" to find a solution.

"Our real concern is the lack of transparency that has been shown throughout the process by a public body," a club spokesperson said.

"It is deeply disappointing that both the Court and the LLDC have made decisions based only on financial considerations, when the purpose of the stadium's legacy was regeneration of the area with a community focus."

Earlier, Adam Lewis QC, representing the club, said: "Leyton Orient does not suggest that it would be viable as a sole occupant of the stadium.

"Nor does it seek by these proceedings to prevent, disrupt or delay West Ham's move to the stadium.

'Best deal'

"Rather, Leyton Orient wishes to be allowed back into the procurement competition... and to be awarded a concession to use the stadium jointly with West Ham."

But lawyers for the corporation said the case was "unarguable" and "lacked merit".

Leyton Orient also claimed their bid for a ground-share was not considered properly.

The LLDC turned that down on cost grounds, BBC London sports news correspondent Adrian Warner reported.

In a statement the LLDC said: "We welcome the ruling and are pleased that Mr Justice Lewis agrees that we ran a fair, open and transparent competition to appoint concessionaires for the stadium.

"We believe the agreement we have with West Ham United Football Club and UK Athletics will deliver a fantastic sporting and community legacy in east London and represents the best deal for the taxpayer."

West Ham were named as the preferred bidders to take over the Olympic Stadium in December.

However Orient chairman Barry Hearn has argued the process was flawed.

Mr Hearn has also claimed West Ham moving into the Olympic Stadium - which is about two miles and one Tube stop away from Orient's Brisbane Road ground - would affect attendances at Orient games.

He has long argued the effect could be so severe it could put the club, currently top of League One with seven wins from seven games, out of business.

West Ham, who are expected to move into their new home from August 2016, welcomed the High Court's decision.

In a statement they said: "Although the application for a judicial review would not have had any impact on West Ham United's move to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the club have always believed the process was robust, fair and transparent."

West Ham said they could now focus on plans to develop the new venue.

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