London 2012: Stratford tower blocks become broadcast centres
Remaining tenants at housing blocks in the Carpenters Estate in Stratford face months of disruption after broadcasters were given the go-ahead to turn top floor flats into studios during the Olympic Games.
Newham Council has been granted planning permission to change the use of several floors and the rooftop at Lund Point and Dennison Point for the BBC and Al-Jazeera from July 20 to September 10.
The application was rubberstamped at a meeting of Newham Council’s local development committee, despite objections from some of the blocks’ remaining 77 occupied flats.
Construction will now officially start on May 1, although existing residents say work has already long since started.
Osita Madu, Lund Point resident and chairman of Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans (CARP), said he would contact Newham Council to find out what planning conditions are in place.
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He said: “It was just as expected really. Most applications where big companies are involved tend to go through.
“The BBC have already been working there, cameras have been set up. They had to put the application to the committee because its part of the due process.”
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Work will be restricted to between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to noon on Saturdays. However, additional engineering work, such as re-wiring, can take place outside of these restrictions between July 4 and 20.
Flats facing away from the Olympic Park will be used to store equipment or for production purposes.
Mr Madu added: “I want reassurances that there is going to be no disruption and I want a contact number from anyone at BBC should anything arise.”
Floors 16, 17, 19, 21, and 22, and the rooftop at Dennison Point in Gibbons Road will temporarily become home to Al-Jazeera Sport Channel’s broadcast team.
Millicent Barrance, whose family moved into Dennison Point 17 years, said the process has been unsettling for her parents, who are in their 60s.
She said: “They are the only residents left on the first floor and they will have to deal with the sound of drilling every day.
“They come home after a hard day’s work and they like where they live. They were looking forward to the Olympics but all that has been taken away.
“It’s really frustrating because they haven’t heard anything or been offering any compensation by the council.”
A council spokesman declined to say how much it had been paid to allow the broadcasters to use the properties.
He added: “This revenue will be reinvested in the Mayor’s Legacy Fund to provide services for young people and other residents.”