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London 2012 chiefs not trimming landscaping costs

Nov. 06, 2008, 8:19 a.m. (ET)

LONDON(AP) London organizers are planning to spend more than 200 million pounds ($318 million; 246 euros) on landscaping the Olympic Park for the 2012 games - despite the project still struggling to secure private funding.

The 100-hectare east London site, which will feature key Olympic venues and the athletes' village, will be transformed from contaminated industrial land into sweeping lawns, waterways, cycleways and public viewing areas.

A miniature version of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, west London, will stretch for half a mile between the Olympic Stadium and the aquatic center.

Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins said Thursday that funding had already been set aside for the work.

“The money is there and I have no concern about that because we are getting competitive pricing,” he said. “One of the few good things about the credit crunch is that we are getting competitive pricing on costs.”

Over 250 species of plants, trees, meadows and herbs from across the world will be planted in the park. The area will include an ecological park with new habitats for wildlife, including wetlands, meadows and ponds.