MARYLEBONE - LONDON:- Engineers engaged in the construction of the controversial Princess Diana Memorial Fountain extension, today admitted that the project is unlikely to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The original plans involved the fountain being extended from Hyde Park to Regents Park, in a continuous loop, scheduled to run through Paddington and St John's Wood in what was originally envisaged as a "ring of spiritual hope connecting the lungs of the city of London."
Opponents of the plan, complained that in this age of financial austerity, it would be sheer folly to spend in excess of £1 billion - along with the associated disruption to the infrastructure of the city, in order to construct a meandering and ultimately pointless water course, connecting two of the capital's most famous parks.
No matter how much polished granite they use in the construction process.
Supporters of the scheme admit that it won't be much of a money spinner, but insist that it will prove to be an extremely popular attraction, for tourists, and locals alike, whilst providing a fitting and lasting tribute to 'The People's Princess Of Hearts and Landmines.'
Plans to construct a life sized replica of the Taj Mahal, accompanied by a statue of 'The People's Princess of Hearts' sitting on a bench by a reflecting pool, throwing a 'moody' were abandoned at an early stage as being fiancially unviable.
"It would have been nice," supporter, Sir Constantine De Ruffalo told the press today. "But it would have involved demolishing half of Marylebone to make space for it, and that would have cost a fortune. So we abandoned that idea, but it's terribly disappointing to learn that the Memorial Fountain extension won't be completed in time for the Olympics."
Speaking on behalf of the project's construction committee, telly DIY expert, Tommy Walsh, explained that the work had been severely hampered by investors pulling in and out of the project over concerns as to how the fountain would have been utilised after the games.
Sir Richard Branson proposed turning the memorial fountain extension into a giant log flume ride, with tickets at £20 a time, like the London Eye, but a bit more exciting.
"Imagine whizzing around St John's Wood in a gigantic fibre glass log," the entrepreneur enthused. "That would have been brilliant. It's a pity, but too many investors these days lack vision. It could have been a real money spinner this. We could have called it 'The People's Princess of Hearts and Landmines Memorial Fountain Sir Richard Branson Log Flume Ride.' Pity that it isn't going to happen."
"There's just no money," one engineer confided. "To be honest, there was never a chance of the construction being completed by 2012. I can't even see it getting off the ground."
This news comes hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that plans to construct an eight hundred foot tall helter skelter at Canary Wharf in tribute to architect Sir Norman Foster have also been shelved.
On an upbeat note, Newham Borough Council granted planning permission for a kitchen extension to the rear of a dwelling in Pimlico Road in the borough.
More as we get it.