Hackney Council in talks with Olympics bosses over use of Mabley Green

Residents, traders and park users are facing further disruptions as the 2012 Games approach after it emerged another green space in Hackney could be take over by the Olympics.

The Gazette can exclusively reveal that Hackney Council is currently in discussions with The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) over the use of Mabley Green in Homerton.

Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, said: “The council is currently in discussion with LOCOG about the possible use of a small section of Mabley Green – the area under discussion is an old artificial pitch which is currently fenced off and not part of the park’s regularly used or grassed areas.”

He would not disclose details of the proposals. But he added: “As with all negotiations for the use of council land or facilities during Games time we will not agree to anything that does not deliver maximum benefit to residents, be that through revenue for council services or direct Games related opportunities; whilst also ensuring minimum disruption to people’s normal lives and activities.”

A LOCOG government relations manager told traders nearby last month that Olympics organisers may use the green, and that they would impose their own security restrictions.

The proposals will also spark concern about access to the park and transport limitations.

Mabley Green is currently home to six football fields to make up for pitches lost on Hackney Marshes to the Olympic Park development.

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Johnnie Walker, chairman of Hackney and Leyton Football League, which uses the green for its Sunday fixtures, said the proposals were “yet another encroachment” on Hackney’s playing fields in the final countdown to the Games.

“It’s it very worrying. It makes things very difficult for us.”

Chris King, co-chairman of Mabley Green Users Group, said the group had not been consulted on the proposals.

“It is very interesting that there is a plan that we do not know about.

“Until we know what’s actually going to happen, it’s not something to worry about.

“But I am very interested in raising this with our contact at the council.”

A spokesman for LOCOG could neither confirm nor deny the intended plans for Mabley Green.