/ Olympics

Brian O'Connell's London 2012 Blog

Updated: Monday, 13 Aug 2012 20:57

Olympic regeneration in east London has decimated the community in the Carpenters Estate
Olympic regeneration in east London has decimated the community in the Carpenters Estate

Now the Games are over, RTÉ has vacated the disused council flat which served as a temporary Olympic TV studio.

It's on the nineteenth floor of a tower block due for demolition. You won't recognise the description because what you will have seen on screen is a magnificent view of the stadium. The block is one of three on the Carpenters Estate just outside the perimeter fence of the Olympic Park.

It is one of the most deprived estates in one of the most deprived boroughs in Britain.

I was born a few miles away in Forest Gate in east London. As a child, I remember the industrial estate on the site where the Olympic Park now stands. The Carpenters Estate blocks were built in the 1960s to replace the Victorian terraces where many of the factory workers had lived. The factories are gone and soon the tower blocks will be gone too.

When London won the Olympic bid back in 2005 and construction at the Olympic Park began, developers moved into the surrounding area in Stratford, bought up land are put up expensive apartment and office blocks. The local Newham Council has been trying to move freehold owners and leaseholders - as well as the council tenants - off the crumbling Carpenters Estate by offering them alternative accommodation.

Thanks to the Olympics, the land is now worth a fortune, but only if it is free of the families who have lived there for generations. The council has so far moved about half of the estate's 700 households and their homes have been boarded up. The elderly council tenants were among the first to get moved, others are still resisting. The council says the residents will be offered alternative accommodation and be able to move back when the building work is complete.

The organising committee for the Olympic Games talked of the benefits the Games would bring to local communities. But the residents who are left don't see it that way. They see the breakup of the 23 acre Carpenters Estate as the breakup of a way of life in this part of east London.

Live!

Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

Send in Your Photos

Support Team Ireland! Submit your photos