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Olympic equestrian arena approved

Plans to construct a temporary arena for the London 2012 equestrian events have been approved, it has been revealed.

Under the scheme, a 23,000-seat stadium will be constructed in Greenwich Park, to host the Olympic equestrian and modern pentathlon events.

Spectator areas, the main stables, training and warm up areas, a veterinary centre, a broadcast and media centre, and food outlets will also be put in place in the Royal Park between July and August 2012.

The plans were finally given the green light by a team of sports planning and conservation experts following a five-hour meeting at Greenwich Town Hall in south east London yesterday.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe promised local residents the park, which is a designated world heritage site, would be returned to its previous state when the Olympic and Paralympic Games are over.

He asked them to “trust us that we will protect the park and return it to the condition that we received it”.

Total closure would last four weeks and the children’s playground and much of the Flower Garden would stay open for “all but the single day of the Olympic cross country”.

A survey of 3,000 trees has been carried to try and understand how best to protect them and their roots, London 2012 said.

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