Mega Olympic campsite planned for Barkingside
PUBLISHED: 16:05 20 October 2011 | UPDATED: 17:02 20 October 2011
A farmer says his plans for an 8,000 person campsite during the Olympic Games could net Barkingside businesses £500,000.
Proposed campsite in numbers
8,256 campers at one time
15ft high security towers
80 per cent of campers expected to arrive by public transport
10 per cent expected to come by car and the same by bicycle
64 portable toilets
Plans have been submitted to Redbridge Council outlining the 4,000 tent proposal for 25 acres of land at Forest Farm, Forest Road, Barkingside, yards from Fairlop Tube Station.
David Fowler, 47, whose family have farmed the land since 1892, says he plans to include his neighbours in the scheme which will run for four weeks during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.
“I have already spoken to neighbours who want to sell ice creams and drinks,” he said. “I’m hoping to involve local bands and comedians to provide entertainment.”
Forest Farm is six miles from the main Olympic site at Stratford, meaning campers can either cycle or make the 19-minute journey by Tube.
Those staying on site will be able to watch the games on big screens in a marquee with a bar open between noon and 11pm.
Objecting to the plans, Peter Messias, who lives next door in Forest Farm Cottages, said: “It would not be possible to suppress the celebrations of many thousands of holidaymakers who will party on into the night. This will go on for weeks.”
Fairlop Cllr Joyce Ryan said the Olympics is a “once in a lifetime event,” and that the campsite, if run well, would be the perfect way for people to enjoy themselves.
Mr Fowler said he will do anything he can to ease fears of locals.
“I am just a farmer,” he said, “It is really daunting but I hope people will enjoy it. I’m sure in a year’s time we’ll laugh together about any worries we had.”
Police and council officers have raised concerns about the proposals at a time of “unprecedented demand” for police.
A decision on the application is under consideration by the council.
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