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LONDON-Mayor Ken Livingstone has approved plans for the 43,000-seat stadium at Pickett’s Lock, which form the centerpiece of London’s bid to host the World Athletics Championships in 2005.

The mayor attached several conditions to his approval, including public transport improvements to the site and a guarantee that the nearby Green Belt is protected from further development. The plans are now subject to approval by the London Borough of Enfield. Sports Minister Richard Caborn is also investigating the proposals, along with the much-delayed redevelopment of Wembley Stadium in North-West London.

Livingstone said: ‘My priority is to secure the World Athletics Championships for London and if we don’t have Pickett’s Lock we’ll lose this prestigious sporting event to another international city. London desperately needs a modern athletics stadium and by hosting of the World Athletics Championship we’ll have the legacy of world-class athletics facilities. I am confident that the stadium will boost London’s international status and provide regeneration opportunities to the Lee Valley.’

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