The Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre
is the planned venue for the slalom canoeing
and slalom kayaking
events in the 2012 Summer Olympics
The venue is to be built near the town of Waltham Cross
, but named after the borough of Broxbourne
. The site is just outside the northern boundary of Greater London
and, like the main Olympic centre at Stratford
in East London
, it is in the valley of the River Lee
. It will be situated on land which was formerly the overflow car park for the showground site of the River Lee Country Park
The venue will have a purpose built slalom course for the whitewater canoe and kayak events (flatwater canoeing and kayaking events will take place at Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire, west of London). The proposals, which obtained planning permission in late September 2008, include an international and Olympic standard 300m canoe and kayak slalom course together with a warm-up course and finish lake. A new artificial water body is to be built with the white-water obstacles created through a system of pumps. During the Games, temporary seating will be installed around the venue for 12,000 spectators.
The course is to be sighted within a new landscaped parkland setting, including path and bridge networks to enable spectators to have access and view the events. Additional buildings are also proposed to house reception, café, changing rooms, shop, offices, spectator viewing, equipment storage and water pump/filtration facilities.
The original proposed site for the canoe/kayak slalom was Spitalbrook, in the town of Broxbourne
itself and nearby the town's railway station
. However, the site was found to be contaminated with petrol, diesel and tar by-products, a result of the previous light industrial use of the land. As the costs of decontaminating the site were too high, the alternative Showground site was selected as a replacement.
The site is located just off the A121 road
, with easy access from the A10 road
, and junctions 25 and 26 of the M25 motorway
Rail access to the site is via Cheshunt
and Waltham Cross
railway stations on the West Anglia Main Line
, with frequent services from Stratford
, near the main Olympic site, and Liverpool Street
. Theobalds Grove railway station
, on the Lea Valley Lines
, is also nearby.
It is planned that the facility will be retained after the Games to become the White Water Canoe Centre. Although the spectator seating will be removed, in legacy mode the venue is nevertheless intended to provide a leisure attraction for canoeing and white water rafting and a competition venue for elite events, to be managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), the owner of the land.