Photo: London 2012
In a neighbourhood two miles from the London Olympic Stadium, residents of a high-end apartment building will soon find out if they’ll be living under a missile launch site designed to protect the summer games.
It seems that’s what happens when your expensive property boasts clear views of the city.
The AP reports the British military has confirmed that “Surface-to-air missiles could be stationed on the rooftops of an apartment block in east London as part of Britain’s air defenses for the Olympics.”
From the Associated Press:
Around 700 people living at the building in Bow — about 2 miles from London’s Olympic Stadium — have been contacted and warned that the weapons and about 10 troops are likely to be based at the site for around two months.
In a leaflet sent to residents, the ministry said the venue offered an uncluttered “view of the surrounding areas and the entire sky above the Olympic park.”
Troops plan to conduct tests next week at the building, an upmarket gated apartment complex, to determine if the high velocity surface-to-air missiles will be stationed on a water tower attached to the site’s roof.
One of the residents told the AP that people living in the apartment building weren’t convinced it was a great idea.
“From the few people I’ve spoken to, and the security we have here, they’re not happy about it,” said Brian Whelan.
“I don’t think it needs to be here at all”
The UK’s defence ministry said it has a “multilayered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the games.”The ministry is involving local authorities and landowners in its planning of the temporary deployments, said the ministry.
The AP also points out defence officials have not made a final decision on the deployment of surface-to-air defence systems, but it’s not ruling anything out. Last year, organisers decided security needed to be doubled, given the risk of terrorism fuelled by various conflicts around the world.
To put that in perspective: “The military presence for the games will now be bigger than Britain’s current deployment in Afghanistan, where there are about 9,500 British troops.”
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