2012 Olympic Park to be named for Queen Elizabeth

London’s Olympic Park will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth

Olympic Park after the 2012 Games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company said Thursday the name will take

effect once the 500-acre park reopens to the public in 2013.

”We chose the name because there is no more durable institution

in this country than the monarchy,” Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt

said.

Queen Elizabeth II gave her permission for her name to be used,

while the International Olympic Committee and British Olympic

Association also approved the change.

The queen will mark the 60th anniversary of her ascendancy to

the throne in 2012.

”Her Majesty has been supportive of London 2012 from the start

and the event taking place in her Diamond Jubilee year, it is

fitting that the park bears her name,” Hunt said.

By 2013, construction will have begun on housing alongside the

athletes’ village to take the number of homes on the site to

11,000. The legacy company said its plans will ensure the site

becomes a new suburb of London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said 40 percent of the homes in the

traditionally deprived east of the city will contain three or more

bedrooms and be suitable for families, marking a change from the

past 15 years, when construction in the city was dominated by small

apartments.

Johnson said the design of the homes will be inspired by the

terracing and public squares of central London’s 18th century and

Victorian developments.

Government sports minister Hugh Robertson said the housing will

be built privately.

”We look to public money to put in the infrastructure and

private money to put the housing up and that’s exactly what’s

happening,” Robertson said.

Much of the housing will be close to the Olympic Stadium, which

last week was subject to rival tenancy applications from Premier

League football clubs Tottenham and West Ham.

The head of UK Athletics has criticized the joint bid by

Tottenham and American sports and entertainment company AEG because

it includes no plans for a running track, which was one of the

post-Games commitments in the London bid.

Robertson, Johnson and legacy company chair Margaret Hodge

confirmed Thursday an athletics track remained one of the necessary

commitments, but did not say whether it had to be inside the

stadium or whether a tenant could agree to build a replacement

elsewhere as part of its bid.

”It was core to our bid to leave an athletics legacy and that

is unchanged,” Robertson said.