A private residential complex in Tower Hamlets has been chosen by the Ministry of Defence as a possible site for ground-to-air missiles during the Olympics.
The Lexington Tower is part of the Bow Quarter Estate, a former match factory, which is home to 700 people and is visible from the Olympic park.
It has been chosen as a possible location for a ground based air system, which includes the High Velocity Missile System (HVM) because it has a flat roof and is very close to the Olympic Park.
Other sites confirmed by the MoD as possible Ground Based Air Defense systems include Blackheath Common in Lewisham, and Oxleas Wood in Greenwich.
East London Lines spoke to Bow Quarter residents (April 30 2012) asking them whether they were aware of the proposals and how they felt about potentially having ground-to-air missile systems above their homes.
One woman said she had first heard about the proposals from watching the BBC and found the news worrying. But other residents said the proposals are entirely understandable and they were unconcerned.
Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said “The residents of Bow have not been consulted and have been given little warning about this, nor the opportunity to voice their concerns properly. The Secretary of State for the MOD needs to look at this as a matter of urgency and answer the grave concerns that my constituents and I have about this proposal.”
Residents at Bow Quarter have been sent an information leaflet from the MoD, which has been made available online by blogger and Bow Quarter resident Brian Whelan.
The leaflet provides details of the proposed equipment, dates of preliminary exercises and why the location has been chosen. Officers will guarding the HVM system 24/7 and will be testing the Bow site between May 2-7. Residents at Bow Quarter will be able to meet the Commanding Officer on site on May 5.