6:13pm Tuesday 1st May 2012
© Press Association 2013
Unhappy residents have contacted lawyers to see if they can stop the roof of their home being used as a surface-to-air missile base during the London 2012 Games.
They want to know the details behind the deal in which the management company of the private gated flats in Bow, east London, allows the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to install rockets on the roof to help guard against potential airborne terror attacks.
Brian Whelan, 28, whose home is one of six possible London sites that could be used, said: "Ideally I would like them to reverse the decision. We have instructed solicitors to find out from the management company on what grounds they have allowed the MoD to have access to our building."
A massive 2012 security test on land, sea and in the air in London and Weymouth, involving military and civilian personnel, will be held from May 2 to 10.
Residents on the estate have already spotted the military getting ready for the test, dubbed Olympic Guardian, according to Mr Whelan, a journalist. He said: "They arrived today to start their dummy run. Mr Whelan added: "The sentiment against this is strong."
He claims there was little or no consultation on the issue, a charge the MoD denies. He said residents received a leaflet warning them that a team of 10 soldiers and police will be stationed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of the Games.
The MoD leaflet said the missiles would only be fired as a last resort. No final decision has been made about the potential deployment but it does form part of Olympic Guardian.
An MoD spokesman said: "The safety of the Games is paramount and working alongside the police the MoD has conducted a broad range of community engagement in those areas where ground-based air defence may be sited.
"This work has included extensive talks with local authorities and landowners alongside briefing local MPs, talking with community representatives and, most recently, delivering leaflets to the homes of residents in those areas in question.
"We want to cause as little disruption to people going about their everyday business as possible - but at the same time the public expects that we take all those steps necessary to protect them at what will be a time of national pride and celebration."
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