No respite for Greenwich Park World Heritage Site

The last ditch hope that Greenwich Park WHS could be reprieved from the inevitable damage which the staging the equestrian events of the 2012 Olympic Games, as reported in RN 109 and 110 has not yet been realised. Despite Planning Permission being granted, RESCUE and NOGOE have not yet given up the fight to save it. Moving the event to Windsor Great Park where suitable facilities already exist would be popular with the equestrian community, who have their own misgivings about the feasibility of the exercise.

Greenwich Council have now given the go-ahead to LOCOG to start preparing the ground in Greenwich Park for the cross country. They are apparently satisfied that enough of the conditions attached to the Planning Permission to hold the Olympics there have now been met. If the preparations for the events continue there is concern that the safeguards in place to protect the underlying archaeology are insufficient to ensure that damage is prevented (mitigation of the risk is not enough). The Chief Executive of Greenwich Council was asked if a local historian with extensive knowledge of the Park and an independent archaeologist with experience of the Park’s archaeology could participate in the Advisory Group which would decide whether or not the conditions attached to the planning permission were being met. After consultation with LOCOG the decision was taken not to allow this.

Representatives of NOGOE met Steve Pallett, head of Greenwich Planning, and made a good case for more care to be taken of the Roman archaeology within the park. Steve Pallet stated throughout the meeting and subsequently that Greenwich planners would be guided by English Heritage.

There must still remain serious concerns about the unknown extent and survival of archaeological deposits outwith the scheduled area.

Related posts