Boris Johnson in dog track redevelopment controversy

Mayor's decision sparks local anger

London mayor Boris Johnson has been criticised by residents in the Walthamstow area of the city, after he approved measures to redevelop the local dog track.

Mr Johnson will allow the Grade II-listed stadium to be turned into nearly 300 homes and a leisure complex, which developers say will bring £50 million to the borough.

In 2010 he expressed his wish that a developer could be found who would continue to dog racing tradition of the stadium, but two years on he argues that the proposed changes will be a "major boost" to the area.

However, Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith hit out at his colleague, taking to local radio to express his fury at the decision.

"This is a bad decision and I have constituents of mine saying "What's the point of Boris?'", said Mr Duncan Smith, who led the Conservative Party from 2001 to 2003.

Walthamstow first opened for dog racing in 1933, and has become something of a landmark over the years, even featuring on the front cover of Britpop band Blur's Parklife album.

A virtual dog racing alternative

The residents of Walthamstow may not be happy that dog racing is disappearing from their region, but virtual dog racing offers a fun alternative even for those who do live near a track.

Simply select your dog using the realistic fluctuating odds system and watch the virtual race unfold, taking home winnings in the same way as you would normally.

If this sounds like fun to you, Virtual Dog Racing can help you find the best places to bet, listing many of the top online bookmakers who offer this service and providing information on their various sign up deals.