Olympic Games. Planning green light for London 2012 canoe-kayak slalom venue

Wednesday, 01 October 2008


Plans for the world-class White Water Canoe Centre to be used during the London 2012 Games and leave a major sporting and leisure attraction in legacy moved a step closer today as Broxbourne Borough Council granted planning approval for the venue. The plans will now be referred to the Government Office for the East of England to grant planning permission.

The White Water Canoe Centre will be built by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire to host the canoe / kayak slalom events during the Olympic Games in 2012. After the Games, the venue will be developed to become a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and white-water rafting, as well as a major competition venue for elite events. The Centre will be owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and will sit alongside the existing centres of sporting excellence in the Lee Valley Regional Park.

A planning application for the White Water Canoe Centre was submitted in the summer following public consultation with local residents on the venue plans. Broxbourne Borough Council last night granted planning approval allowing the plans to go to the Government Office for the East of England to grant planning permission. The venue plans include:

An international standard Canoe / Kayak Slalom Course – an Olympic standard 300m course, with a warm-up course and finish lake. A new artificial water body will be constructed and the white-water will be created through a system of pumps

New parklands - the canoe course will be located within a wider parkland setting. The landscaping works will include path and bridge networks throughout the venue to facilitate spectator access and viewing

A new  facility building – containing a reception, café, changing rooms, shop, offices, spectator viewing facilities, equipment storage and water pump/filtration facilities

David Higgins, ODA Chief Executive said: “Securing planning approval is a significant milestone and keeps us firmly on-track to deliver the new world-class facilities at Broxbourne in good time for the Games. Our plans for Broxbourne are a key part of spreading the benefits of the Games around the country and will help us create a major leisure attraction for Broxbourne and the East of England region for many years to come.”

London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman Sebastian Coe said “Broxbourne will provide a world class venue for Games time and an excellent facility for elite athlete and community usage after the Games, living up to our promise of leaving a lasting legacy for sport. Securing planning approval is an important step forwards and we look forward to seeing this exciting venue taking shape.”

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority said: “The WWCC will be a world class sports venue providing the best training and competition facilities for elite athletes plus a fun and exciting recreational centre for the whole community. The centre will form part of a ‘zone of sporting excellence’ in the Lee Valley stretching from Herts to the Thames. The Authority looks forward to receiving the WWCC in 2010/11 and providing some pre-Games public use before delivering a vibrant and sustainable legacy venue for the long term.”

Richard Ellis, East of England Development Agency (EEDA) chair, said: “The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has worked closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and Sport England East to ensure that the plans for this site go beyond the requirements of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  EEDA’s aim is to secure a lasting legacy from the Broxbourne site, the benefits of which will be a major boost for local communities and businesses in the region for years to come."

Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: "Broxbourne will give people the chance to experience the excitement of canoeing and white-water rafting and develop their skills in a world class setting. The White Water Canoe Centre is one of several important Sport England investments that will help secure a lasting sporting legacy for the community.”

Paul Owen, British Canoe Union (BCU) Chief Executive, said: “The new course will help to grow the already very popular sport of canoe and kayaking by providing a first class venue for world class athletes, the Games themselves as well as the 2012 legacy. It will also promote Broxbourne and the Hertfordshire region as a world-class host venue and destination.”

The Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre will be built on what is currently the overflow car park for the Showground site of the River Lee Country Park, between Waltham Cross and Theobalds Grove stations.

The contract for construction companies to build the new venue and facilities is currently out to tender and is expected to be awarded in early 2009, with works starting in Spring 2009. 

The venue is due to be completed for Games training and testing in 2010-11. During the Games, temporary seating will be installed around the venue for 12,000 spectators. After the Games, the spectator seating will be removed, and the venue will be developed into the Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre, creating a major leisure attraction for canoeing and white water rafting as well as a venue for future international competition.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 October 2008 )