Leyton Orient FC backed by Waltham Forest Council approached The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) who own the Eton Manor site which is in Leyton and in Waltham Forest, with a bid to take over the planned hockey stadium and turn it into a football and rugby stadium after the Olympics. The Orient bid would in the words of Barry Hearn, make the post Olympic Eton Manor area more sustainable and enable the football club to remain in Leyton and in Waltham Forest. He said that if he could not move to Eton Manor then the club was likely to move out of the area or fade away. A detailed financial appraisal was presented to LVRP executive committee in November. The executive referred its decision to a Special Authority meeting on the 15th December.
The LVRP authority meeting on the 15th considered a report from the LVRP Chief Executive outlining the reasons why it could not agree to Leyton Orient’s plans and to refuse Orient’s request. As the Waltham Forest member on the LVRP authority I enthused the sustainability of the Orients bid and said that I and Waltham Forest residents would not like to see the football club move from Waltham Forest. Unfortunately, apart from myself, all other members voted against Orient’s proposals.
I am not sure what Barry Hearn and Leyton Orient FC will now do. I hope that their forecast of the future can be resolved and the club can stay at Brisbane Road.