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Just hot air as wind grounds balloon over Victoria Park

PUBLISHED: 13:20 17 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:42 05 October 2010

Balloon dormant (top)... eventually ready for take-off (above), but wind kept it grounded

Balloon dormant (top)... eventually ready for take-off (above), but wind kept it grounded

Carmen Valino

HUNDREDS of people were disappointed that they couldn’t go for a spin’ in a hot air balloon over East London’s Victoria Park at the weekend. Windy conditions kept the 60ft high balloon firmly tethered to the ground

By Mike Brooke

HUNDREDS of people were disappointed that they couldn’t go for a spin’ in a hot air balloon over East London’s Victoria Park at the weekend.

Windy conditions kept the 60ft high balloon firmly tethered to the ground, both Saturday and yesterday.

Operators planning to take the public up 90ft above the park for a bird’s eye view of proposals for the park were afraid the breezy conditions would have swept the balloon up, up and away.

LOTTERY BID

The hot-air balloon was to be the main attraction in a two-day public consultation in Tower Hamlets and Hackney by local authority officials who are bidding for Lottery cash to revamp the park before the 2012 Olympics.

Draft plans for its future went on show in the park. Tower Hamlets has already allocated £5 million towards the restoration and hoped to use the hot-air balloon to win public backing to pass the final stage in getting National Heritage to lob in another £5m match funding’.

Consultations last year have already brought suggestions including an urban beach, better play areas and sports pitches, a skate-park, an additional café and more planting and landscaping.

Proposals for Vicky Park are online here. Final plans will be ready in October before they are submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in December.

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