Plans approved for 2012 Olympic broadcast centre revamp

Plans to transform the Olympic Park's former press and broadcast centres into a creative and digital hub have been granted full planning consent by the London Legacy Development Corporation's (LLDC) planning committee.

Here East: artist's visualisation of the scheme
Here East: artist's visualisation of the scheme

The proposals, by iCITY, a joint venture between real estate company Delancey and data centre operator Infinity SDC, are for the creation of a "world-leading creative and digital cluster" in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The scheme, which would be named "Here East", comprises 115,755 square metres of commercial floorspace, including a data centre, business/studios, education, conference and retail floorspace.

iCITY said the scheme would be a "significant generator of employment, training and education opportunities" to support east London’s creative and digital industries.

In recommending approval for the scheme, an LLDC planning report concluded that there was "strong support" from a range of stakeholders to the principle of the proposals.

It said while concerns had been raised about plans to include 2,534 square metres of retail space, and 489 car parking spaces, it felt these were outweighed by the economic and regeneration benefits.

The report said: "The development will bring significant economic benefits and make an important contribution to the convergence agenda. These benefits were a fundamental aspiration of and rationale for the holding of the Olympic Games.

"As such, the principle of the proposals is welcome and fully compliant with planning policy with respect to the regeneration of this strategically important location."

Jules Pipe, mayor of Hackney, said the development would "firmly establish Hackney as the UK’s centre for innovation" in the broadcast, media and tech sectors.

He added: "This approval represents a major step towards ensuring an Olympic legacy for Hackney which will unlock the full potential for regeneration and investment in this part of the borough.

"Hackney Council will be working with Here East and its tenants to ensure local residents benefit from the many job, apprenticeship and training opportunities and can begin building meaningful careers in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park."

Redevelopment of the buildings is expected to begin in summer 2014. Deloitte Real Estate is the planning advisor on the development.

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