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2012 Aquatics centre gets go ahead

London 2012 Aquatics Centre was granted planning permission on Tuesday following public consultation which saw changes to accessibility and changing facilities.

The 17,500 capacity Aquatics Centre will form the 'gateway' to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and transform into a 2,500 to 3,500 community and elite swimming and diving facility in legacy.

The planning committee approved the legacy plans for the Aquatics Centre after feedback from local people and other groups provided specialist advice on areas such as faith, community and club swimming, design and accessibility.

The further design development included companion seating with all accessible seats to ensure disabled spectators can sit with family and friends, external lift and stairs to link entrances at river and upper levels, separate male, female and team changing, roof material changed to enhance landmark design and further sustainability measures to reduce energy consumption and minimise water use, including using pool backwash to flush toilets.

Contractor Balfour Beatty can now start construction this summer as the previously contaminated footprint of the Aquatics Centre has been cleared, over 500 metres of new riverbank are close to completion and intensive final preparations are underway on the rest of site.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: "This decision keep us on track to start the construction of an iconic venue for the London 2012 Games and the new community and elite swimming and diving facility that London desperately needs. We have appointed a world class construction contractor, the site is almost ready and this summer people will see a new landmark for London start to emerge from what was one of the most contaminated parts of the Olympic Park."

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