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'There are too many of us' says 2012 Village clients

London 2012 bosses and firms developing the Olympic Park's neighbouring Stratford City site are looking at cutting the number of client bodies involved in delivering the Athletes Village site.

There are five firms involved in the development, and there is a concern that although the partnership is working well, such a large number of stakeholders may prove problematic as the project enters its critical construction phase in 2010.

The firms involved are: Stratford City land owner London & Continental Railways (LCR); Australian shopping mall developer Westfield and its preferred development partner Lend Lease; the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and its delivery partner CLM (a consortium of CH2M Hill, Laing O'Rourke and Mace).

Bovis Lend Lease is the main contractor for the site.

As the Village will comprise of accommodation for 17,000 athletes during games time, becoming residential property post-2012, Westfield has already ruled itself out of the project as it wishes to be involved solely on the retail element of the Stratford City site.

However, it is understood that there is still a worry that four clients for Bovis to work with might still be a case of "too many cooks" risking delays and overruns.

LCR, whose structure is under review by the Government following its successful delivery of High Speed 1, is assessing its long term involvement in the scheme.

It is possible that the Government would break up LCR and sell its land assets to capitalise on land values.

A source close to LCR said that even if it did hold on to the freehold, it might pull its active involvement in the scheme to become a "silent partner", if this ensured a smoother delivery.

An ODA spokesman said: "The final negotiations for the Olympic Village contract continue to make good progress involving all parties, and there are currently no plans to change the parties involved in the project. Work on the Olympic Village site is also progressing well and we are on-track to start construction this summer."

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