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Olympic Legacy and Stratford’s Transformation

Olympic Legacy

A look back on the last 10 years since the CPO


The Olympic Site…10 Years On

Many areas of London have undergone significant change over the last decade, and one golden example is Stratford. London made a prime candidate for the games due to its redevelopment potential and legacy the Olympics would leave. 

David Higgins, Olympic Delivery Authority Chief Executive said on appointment, “Our challenge is to successfully manage both the requirements of the games and the long-term regeneration of East London. 

Oly Leg 2

Achieving both of these will bring fantastic opportunities for the whole of the UK."

Exactly ten years since the Olympics compulsory purchase orders (CPO) and just over five years since the 2012 opening ceremony in London, the area is still developing with widespread regeneration taking place to create new communities of homes, businesses and leisure spaces.


Strettons’ recent history is deeply interlinked with the redevelopment of Stratford and the surrounding areas. As London Development Agency lead the compulsory purchase of the land to develop the stadium and other venues, we worked closely with clients within the Olympic zone. As the CPO progressed, we became involved in consulting on schemes around the site, where we are still seeing projects come to life or are soon to come to Stratford.


The Starting Line

Since the CPO came into effect in west Stratford, making it possible for the London Development Agency to undertake the necessary work to create the site for London’s 2012 Olympic Games, the area has become one of the largest regeneration CPOs in Europe. 


This resulted in numerous major business relocations with many being moved to new industrial estates in Beckton, Enfield and Leyton.

Before CPO

Aerial Photo of Stratford 2007

There is a common misconception that west Stratford was a wasteland before the Olympics. However, prior to the CPO, Stratford was a thriving industrial area centred around Marshgate Lane with over 300 businesses large and small. These businesses had to be relocated, along with a large estate of houses and flats, whose residents had to be re-homed.


A further misconception is that the development of Stratford was publicly funded and that it was one development site focused on delivering the best games in Olympic history. In fact, there were two areas of regeneration, Stratford Rail Lands and Stratford West Industrial Area. Plans for development of Stratford Rail Lands (former International Rail Terminal) gained outline planning permission in 2003 before London was selected to host the 2012 Olympic Games in 2005. 

The work was to be privately funded by LendLease and London and Continental Railways and is now and is now Stratford City including Westfield Shopping Centre and the International Quarter. The development of Stratford West Industrial Area was publicly funded and subject to the CPO and became the site for the London 2012 Olympics.

Strettons were actively involved in helping many of those companies affected by the CPO. We acted on behalf of occupiers and owners in the Olympic zone who held circa 1 million ft2, or 40%, of the total floor space that was to be compulsory acquired. Many of these businesses were relocated and we dealt with compensation claims resulting from this disruption, helping the businesses keep steady through the transition and make the most of their deals.

 View Newsletter 173


Going the Distance…the Redevelopment Legacy

The legacy redevelopment of the Olympic park began as soon as the 2012 Paralympics ended. The former Olympic stadium has been converted into a multi-purpose 60,000 seater stadium and is the home to West Ham United Football Club, while the Athletes’ Village is now a residential development, The East Village, which already contains nearly 3,000 new homes and the park is being further developed over the next 20 years to bring in five new neighbourhoods of over 10,000 new homes, commercial spaces and other uses.

Athletes Village

Athlete's Village

Stratford itself and the surrounding areas have seen a surge in start-ups and a substantial technology centre, which is home to some of Europe’s most advanced innovation spaces in HereEast.

 Oly Legacy

We don’t like to call it the ‘Olympic Effect’ as the area already had its own plans in progress before the bid, but Westfield Stratford, improved infrastructure and the impressive commercial spaces that were built during the games brought considerable value to the area and much faster change than we would have otherwise seen. The Olympics has undoubtedly become the catalyst for further development around the area, including the former industrial patch of Fish Island, Hackney Wick.

This is seen by the creation of new communities drawn to the area by affordable housing, new jobs and leisure activities. There are no signs of slowing down in areas around the Olympic site, and we look forward to seeing how it continues to grow.  

View more about Stratford and other changes in east London in our Autumn east London newsletter. 

View Newsletter 173

Continued progress….

Off the back of the redevelopment surge in Stratford and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the whole of the area continues to benefit from numerous developments. Several mixed-use schemes have been given the go ahead and will, or have provided, housing and commercial space for the area and be integral to achieving the overall vision for optimising the space.

Some within Stratford include:

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With planning beginning back in 2010 and changing the skyline of the area, this impressive development by Telford Homes is a 245 unit tower completing between autumn 2017 and summer 2018. All units have been sold

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Stratford City

Another impressive tower by Telford Homes clocks in at 33 storeys and boasts 181 residential units which are all fully sold. The scheme commenced in 2014 and will launch between August and December 2018. 


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Manhattan Loft Gardens

Completing mid-2018, this high-end tower will provide a 150 room hotel, 253 residential units and flexible Class A1-A5 space on the ground floor. Manhattan Loft Corporation is providing the tower with full amenities and communal landscaped spaces surrounding.

The nearby Hackney Wick: Fish Island, in particular, is much more diverse architecturally as developers have only been allowed to develop residentially on Fish Island as a result of the Olympics planning policy changes. It now has a better mix of uses and ownership. To learn all about Hackney Wick and those developments, you can view that newsletter here. 

To learn more about east London developments and various boroughs of focus, keep a lookout for our quarterly east London newsletter, or contact the team on contact@strettons.co.uk