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Potters Fields beach plan halted

Plans to fill Potters Fields with tonnes of sand to create an urban beach have been abandoned after a row between organisers Ten Alps and Southwark Council.

Bob Geldof, whose Ten Alps Events company was developing the plan on behalf of mobile phone company O2, has branded Southwark Council "truly pathetic" after it rejected plans to use the derelict coach park site.

He told the Evening Standard: "I'm sick of their endless excuses. I don't care what their reason is. It would be inevitably inadequate."

The original plan involved covering the grassed area of Potters Fields Park with 30cm of sand. In response to concerns of local residents about a repeat of the damage and disruption caused by last year's David Blaine event the organisers hoped to relocate the beach to the adjacent coach park site.

But Southwark Council refused to give the go-ahead for the use of the coach park as the site is the subject of a planning inquiry into Berkeley Homes' plan to build eight cylindrical towers.

A breakdown in communications between Ten Alps and Southwark Council seems to have muddled the situation: the council claims it did not receive the application for the coach park. However, Ten Alps says it was submitted on 1 June. The original proposal was submitted on 30 March.

At a consultation meeting for residents held on Tuesday at the Beormund Centre in Abbey Street O2 and Ten Alps staff were amazed to be told by Simon Hughes MP that use of the coach park had been ruled out by Southwark Council.

"Due to space, time and availability restrictions we can no longer find a suitable home for the O2 Beach" the mobile phone company said in a statement.

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