The draft Legislative Reform (Epping Forest) Order 2011 and Explanatory Document were laid before Parliament on 21 March 2011 by the Home Office under section 14(1) of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. The draft Order would allow the Metropolitan Police Authority to erect a Muster, Briefing and Deployment Centre on Wanstead Flats for up to 90 days during the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012. After this period the full provisions of the Epping Forest Act 1878 would return into force. The Department believes this is the most efficient way to ensure the safety and security of the 2012 Games. The Government has proposed that the draft Order be dealt with under the affirmative resolution procedure.
Epping Forest is an important area of North-East London which provides an open space for recreation and enjoyment, and is protected in perpetuity by the Epping Forest Act 1878. The southern-most point of the Forest, Wanstead Flats, is an area of public space surrounded by dense urban housing, with deep historical significance for the local residents. However, it has also been found the most suitable place for the Metropolitan Police Service to situate a centre from which they can brief and deploy large numbers of police officers during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Whilst we have concerns about the consultation process undertaken in this case, we agree that the affirmative resolution procedure is appropriate and recommend that the draft Order be approved.