London's Olympic preparations took another step forward today with the launch of an eight-week consultation period on the transfer of planning powers to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).
The ODA will oversee planning for the Olympic Park by taking on the planning powers of those East London Boroughs in which the park will be situated to streamline the process.
The ODA will be established once the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Bill - currently working its way through Westminster - receives Royal Assent.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, reassured planning applicants they would have the same rights of appeal as they do now after the switch.
"Giving planning powers to the ODA will facilitate the planning for the Olympic Park, bearing in mind the scale of development involved, the timescales attached and the integrated nature of the project," he said.
The closing date for the consultation is 12 April 2006.
By Chris Druce
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