The Nothe, Weymouth. Photo: Jim Linwood CC-BY-2.0

The Nothe, Weymouth. Photo: Jim Linwood [CC-2.0]

Outdoor campaigners are trying to take the wind out of the sails of Olympics organisers who want to close off part of a public area and charge for entry to view nautical events off the English coast.

The London 2012 organising committee has applied for permission to place temporary structures on the Nothe in Weymouth for paying spectators to view the games’ sailing competitions.

The Nothe gardens, on which it wants to put up the viewing structures, stand on a peninsula with views of the Jurassic Coast. The South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest national trail, also leads through the area.

The Open Spaces Society said the proposed structures will be intrusive and will stop the public enjoying free access. It said the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), led by former Great Britain middle-distance runner, Tory peer Lord Coe, should find another venue for its spectators.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “The so-called structures include a mass of paraphernalia, such as tents, cabins, compounds and vehicular accessways.  They will have a devastating effect on the lovely, historic Nothe Gardens, where people have enjoyed free and unfettered access.

“We have urged the council to reject this application and to tell Locog to site the viewing structures elsewhere, not on public land.  It would be deeply regrettable to charge people to enter parkland where they have always had the right to roam free.”

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