Olympic ‘tent city’ plan for Hainault turned down by council

A farmer will rethink plans for an Olympic campsite near Fairlop station after council chiefs snubbed his proposal for an 8,000-person tent city.

David Fowler said he was “frustrated” officers rejected the site on his land on Forest Road, Hainault.

He will now scale back the plans to about 5,000 campers and resubmit them to Redbridge Council, but he is afraid time is running out before the Games in July.

Mr Fowler said: “They waited until the very last moment to reject our application and didn’t even call me. I had to find out on the internet.”

The application was turned down on December 13, despite some support from councillors.

A report said the campsite would have a “serious and adverse” affect on residents due to increased noise and disturbance. Officers also said insufficient information had been supplied.

Mr Fowler responded: “We had met with council officers and thought we’d given them enough information. I am just a farmer, I am not au fait with the planning system.”

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Mr Fowler, 47, whose family have farmed the land at Fairlop since 1892, said he estimated the site would bring in about �2million for local businesses and services.

The plans would have seen space for more than 4,000 tents, giant screens, food stalls and a marquee with a bar and entertainment.

In November a council planning committee approved a plan for a 500-tent campsite at Wanstead Cricket Club, Overton Drive.

A council spokesman confirmed a resubmitted application will be treated as a priority.

He said: “The planning team met the applicant in the first week of January and apologised that he received a refusal without warning.

“However, the council did explain that if he had spoken to officers before submitting the application, through a formal pre-application process, he would have been provided with constructive advice and support to help him determine what number of campers may be acceptable.”