The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that subject to contract negotiations, the London 2012 sailing community will be housed in the new 77 unit low carbon housing development being built at Officer's Field, Osprey Quay, Portland, Dorset.
The 14-day Olympic Sailing Competition in July and August 2012 will involve approximately 700 sailors, coaches and officials with the six-day Paralympic Sailing Competition in August and September 2012 requiring less than half that number to be housed.
Sustainable developer ZeroC Holdings is building 77 two, three and four-bedroom low carbon homes in partnership with the South West RDA (Regional Development Agency), the owner of the land at Portland. Osprey Quay is a former Royal Navy Air Station which was acquired for regeneration in 2000.
The development was selected following an assessment of accommodation options around the wider Weymouth and Portland area to find the best possible housing for competitors and their support teams. The development is within close proximity to the competition venue - the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the adjacent Portland Marina; an important factor in selecting the site.
Alastair Fox, ISAF Events Manager said, "ISAF is delighted that the athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions will be accommodated within easy walking distance of the venue. It is always ISAF's priority to ensure the best possible facilities for competitors and we'd like to thank LOCOG for their support in this area. This is another important step on the road to London 2012."
With planning permission for the 77 new homes granted in July last year and construction started in September 2009, the development was an obvious option for LOCOG to explore. The homes will meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, reducing carbon emissions by more than half compared with conventional new build properties.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, commented, "This development offers consistency with the standards being achieved in the main Athletes Village in Stratford, and will be a great home for the athletes at Games-time. We are confident that making temporary use of a permanent facility which is very much part of the impressive regeneration of Portland is the right solution for athletes and for Portland in the long-term."
Councillor Howard Legg, Briefholder for Special Projects & 2012, said, "We welcome this news; having the sailing athletes accommodated on land in a sustainable housing scheme which will bring long term benefit to Portland is preferable to a temporary cruise ship. Given the current down turn in the housing market, this also means extra properties, including affordable housing, for the Island sooner than might otherwise have been the case. Improvements are also being made to local community facilities as a result of this project going ahead."
The London 2012 sailing community will occupy the newly constructed housing during the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2012. Following this, the units will be made ready for sale and occupation by their new owners, with 25% of the units, in a range of sizes, to be made available as affordable housing via a registered social landlord. The remaining properties will be sold privately by ZeroC the developer.
James Watt, Development Manager at the South West RDA with responsibility for Osprey Quay, said: "The RDA is investing more than £40 million in Osprey Quay to make it a magnet for private sector investment, creating around 1,400 jobs by 2016. ZeroC's scheme is the latest step in that regeneration process and we're delighted that this exemplar low carbon development will be a temporary home to teams from around the world and then a permanent asset for the local community."
In the coming months, LOCOG will work to conclude agreements with the developer and involve the local community both in the emerging operational plans for the summer of 2012 and in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for welcoming the world to Dorset.
Find out more about the London 2012 Olympic Games at www.sailing.org/london2012.