Countdown to North Park Opening
Chobham Manor will be the first neighbourhood to be developed, located between the Lee Valley VeloPark and the Athletes’ Village in the north-east of the Park. It will be centred around 800 new homes and 3,000 sq m of community and ancillary facilities, including a polyclinic, two nurseries and a community centre.
The four other neighbourhoods are: East Wick which will be in the north-west of the Park, next to Hackney Wick; Sweetwater near the Old Ford area, in the south-west of the Park; Marshgate Wharf will be between Stratford City and the Stadium, to the south-east of the Stadium; and Pudding Mill will be the area in and around Pudding Mill Lane station.
Over the next 20 years they will accommodate up to 8,000 new homes, supported by a network of new schools, nurseries, health centres and community spaces, sitting alongside the sporting venues and 6.5 km of waterways and open spaces, which will host a range of cultural and sporting attractions.
The homes will combine tradition and innovation with the development including modern versions of London’s traditional Georgian and Victorian squares and terraces, as well as riverside properties. Up to 35% of them will be affordable housing, in-line with the Mayor’s London Plan.
The five new neighbourhoods will open in phases to the public from 2013, with families moving into the first new homes in 2015.
For more information about each of the areas, please click on the relevant area on the map opposite.
This area lay within the ancient parish of West Ham, which probably took its name from the manors of Ham (meaning low-lying pasture) and possibly also within part of Leyton (settlement on the Lea). Both places were mentioned in the Domesday Book (AD 1086). Discoveries nearby of ancient axes show that people have lived in the area since the Palaeolithic period and coins and medals dating from Roman times have been found too.
By the 1300s, it was part of the manor of Chobham’s, named after Thomas de Chobham, and had mostly been turned into farmland. The land around the Chobham estate was later bought by the Great Eastern Railway. By the 1890s, Chobham's farm had gone but there was an early type of brickworks and an artificial manure works meant there was still a whiff of country air.
During World War Two, an anti-aircraft gun near Manor Garden allotments was the first to claim to have shot down an enemy aircraft. The military pillboxes used as part of the defence of London during the war in this area were later put to use for a more peaceful pastime - as potting sheds!
This area will be home to the Basketball Arena for the 2012 Games - one of the largest temporary venues built for any Games as well as being one of the most flexible for different uses. Positioned between the VeloPark and the Athletes Village, once the basketball competition is over there will be just 22 hours to transform the venue for handball and, during the Paralympic Games, just 12 hours to change it for wheelchair rugby after the wheelchair basketball finishes. The area has been landscaped so spectators can enjoy a stroll along the edge of the River Lea.
This neighbourhood will become the most 'village-like' in the Park. With an emphasis on family homes, there will be a mix of town and mews houses, and maisonettes, as well as single flats. The housing will be a modern take on some of London's finest architecture - like the traditional terraced housing of Leyton and Stratford. The area will be located near to Chobham Academy campus in the Athletes Village and what will become Europe's foremost cycle centre, the VeloPark.
The green heartland of the Park is ideally situated for this neighbourhood, giving easy access to play centres, open space, a rich mix of natural habitat and wildlife, as well as walking and cycle paths connecting the Park to Hackney Marshes and north to the Lee Valley.
This area, close to Hackney Wick, has for centuries been dominated by the River Lea and more recently by the man-made Hackney Cut canal. These rivers were and continue to be a definining characteristic of this area, allowing an invading Danish fleet to make it as far north as Hertford via the Lea and at the time of the Great Plague in 1665 helping save Londoners from starvation by allowing barges to transport food into the capital.
The Hackney Cut, built in the 1760s, was meant to improve the river for boats, but in the 20th century both the canal and the Lea have been more about recreation than trade with the Johnstone boathouse built on the canal for the Eton Mission Rowing Club in 1934.
The area became home to industry - including some particularly noxious ones - in the Victorian era. White Post Lane was the site of the Hope Chemical Works, a distillery for imported American crude oil, and in 1948 Clarnico - known as the country's largest confectioner - was based in Waterden Road after its old building was damaged during World War Two. Wallis Road was also crucial in the history of the invention of plastic with Alexander Parkes making the first type called Parkesine.
Waterden Road was also the home of the Hackney Wick stadium, opened for both greyhound and motorcycle racing in 1932. Capable of holding 25,000 during its heyday in the 1950s, the stadium was demolished in 2003.
The Press and Broadcast Centres in this area will be the 24 hour media hub for around 20,000 broadcasters, photographers and journalists bringing the 2012 Games to 4 billion people worldwide.
The 7,500 seat Multi-Use Arena nearby will host handball, fencing for the men's modern pentathlon and will be used for goalball during the Paralympic Games. It has retractable seating to create a flexible space with a glazed concourse level encircling the building allowing people to see the activity taking place inside, and illuminating the venue at night.
A neighbourhood of family housing delicately framing the edge of the parklands with a primary school and community centre at its heart. It will also be an important enterprise and creative district, making it one of the Park's primary employment zones, with strong links to Higher Education and business.
Located adjacent to the creative and cultural hub of Hackney, there will be great cycling and walking networks to the area and the Lea Valley. To the south of the area will be London's third largest arena, a 7,500-seat venue and hub for community activities, entertainment, indoor sports, cultural and business events.
In the 19th century, the area was home to the East London Waterworks Company, but it was during the late 19th and early 20th century that it really came into its own with the growth of chemical, confectionery and petroleum industries taking off in the area.
Petrol was first registered for a patent by the company Carless, Capel & Leonard in the area around White Post Lane and a company based on White Post Lane first introduced the French process of dry cleaning to the UK.
A German V1 rocket and heavy bombing damaged many of the buildings in the area during World War Two, but industrial development continued from the 1950s onwards with confectionary, fur trade, engineering and fruit businesses, as well as timber yards and warehouses continue to make the area a real hive of activity and industrial innovation.
For the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Olympic Park from around the world, this area will be absolutely essential. It will be the main place to go for food, information as well as London 2012 souvenirs and merchandise. The area contains a section of the loop road that circulates the Park, which will be used to move athletes and officials to and from venues.
The highest natural point of the whole Park, this neighbourhood will feature a mix of studios, flats and family homes with private gardens and communal green space alongside the Lea Navigation canal. The neighbourhood will also feature a new primary school, nursery school, community space, Idea Store (library and flexible community space) and health centre.
Public spaces are to include a waterfront location for bars, restaurants and shops, and new bridges to connect pedestrians and cyclists with the adjacent Fish Island. There will also be a peaceful riverside walk along the Lea Navigation canal, connecting Hackney Wick, Fish Island and the Park for the first time.
People had settled in this area for a long time with burial sites discovered here showing occupation from at least around 950 BC to Roman Britain of AD 200, but it was with the coming of locomotive era that made this area the place it is today.
Stratford was transformed into a major railway intersection and depot which, by the early 1900s, employed over 6,000 people. The area was dubbed 'Hudson’s Town' after George Hudson the chairman of the Eastern Counties Railway. It was one of the capital's earliest rail lines and attracted businesses from the centre of London to relocate in the area.
The second half of the 19th century saw the commercial development of Carpenter's Road and Warton Road, the bank of the City Mill River and Marshgate Lane along Pudding Mill River, the river filled in to make way for the Olympic Stadium. Most of the industry involved chemicals and this would remain the case until the latter half of the 20th century. One such company to become a worldwide name was Yardley, which once had its soap, powder and perfume factory in Carpenters Road.
The western boundary of the area is a section of the northern outfall sewer. The building of the sewer was triggered by a series of public health crises in London, culminating in the ‘Big Stink of London’ in the late 1850s when the smell coming from the Thames was so bad Parliament put engineer Joseph Bazalgette in charge of building a new sewer system. What an irony that the same area should be connected with the Big Stink AND the UK’s best-known perfumer! The 1980s saw the renovation of the footpath on the sewer embankment to create the Greenway, a footpath and cycle route that exists in the area to this day.
This area will be home to two 2012 Games venues: the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. Between these two venues will sit the Park's unique visitor attraction and UK's tallest sculpture: the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
The Stadium will play host to both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Games, as well as athletes and track & field events. The Aquatics Centre will sit at the main entrance to the Park during and after Games, and is arguably one of the Park’s most iconic building, designed by renowned architect, Zaha Hadid. Swimming and synchronised swimming, diving and events from the modern pentathlon will be watched by up to 17,500 spectators under its spectacular roof, which at 160m long and up to 80m wide gives it a longer single span than Heathrow Terminal 5.
The Water Polo arena is the other venue in this area of the Park, which will be transformed to create a pleasant riverside setting. However, this venue will not remain after the Games.
This large and vibrant neighbourhood will combine residential areas with a cultural promenade featuring shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, street art and open air performance space. It will be conveniently close to Westfield Stratford City and the rail connections at Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations. Houses, maisonettes and apartments are planned to the south of the Stadium, some stretching along the Waterworks and City Mill Rivers.
It will surround the iconic venues of the Aquatics Centre and Stadium (which will remain after the Games), the ArcelorMittal Orbit and will be set amidst the animated south plaza, which will host festivals, community events, street performances, art installations and water features. This area will be full of energy and activity with a range of day and night time activities for all ages.
The River Lea has for centuries been a means of access for our ancestors and this area was once the site of a main crossing to the area known as Queen Mathilda's Causeway. Built around AD 1110, it linked the settlements at Bow and Stratford on opposite sides of the valley. It was apparently requested by Matilda, wife of King Henry I, as the old Roman crossing had become unsafe.
The River Lea and its waterways have always been important to this area as for centuries several watermills were located here. An eclectic area of activity, businesses were located on the High Street between Marshgate Lane Lock and Bow Bridge, and included Thomas Frye's Bow Porcelain works founded in the 1740s, one of the first in Britain.
One of the more interesting local industries to pop up in the second half of the 19th century was a business that supplied live pigs bristles for the making of brooms and brushes!
As well as the athletes warm-up track, other facilities for the athletes participating in the 2012 Games will include access to physiotherapy, doctors, trainers and all the essential elements an elite athlete needs to perform. This is also where athletes will wait before going out to compete - imagine the nerves!
Within this neighbourhood, rivers and canals converge to create a network of waterfronts to the south, east and west. As one of the three prospective employment zones in the Park, the area will be a mix of residential, light industrial and business uses, reflecting its historical significance as an industrial nucleus for the region. Residents of this neighbourhood will have a nursery, community and health centre, with innovatively designed new homes positioned along the Bow Back Rivers. It is also the closest neighbourhood to the secondary school that will be built in the Park. Located adjacent to Stratford High Street, it is well serviced by public transport and will in the near future become home to Crossrail.