Super Sewer Plans Available to Public from April 17

View hard copy of 50,000 page document in Linden House in Hammersmith

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Full details of Thames Water's plans for the Tideway Tunnel, or super sewer, will be available to the public at six locations across London, including Linden House in Hammersmith from April 17.

The full 50,000 page document is being made available following the Planning Inspectorate's confirmation that the application for Development Consent for the super sewer, submitted by Thames Water on February 28, is valid.

This means that the Inspectorate has accepted that Thames Water’s consultation for the project, which started in September 2010, was adequate.

Hard copies of the full documentation will be available for a 42 day period on Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) from 9am till 5pm at Linden House, Upper Mall in Hammersmith as well as London Rowing Club on Putney Embankment and Wandsworth Town Hall.

The full hard copy documentation will continue to be available at Linden House until the Planning Inspectorate has concluded its examination of the proposals. This is expected to take about six months from the date of the Preliminary Meeting, which is expected to take place in September.

A DVD of the documentation will also be available free of charge, and it can be scrutinised online via the Planning Inspectorate's website.

Anyone with views about the Thames Tideway Tunnel will be able register with the Planning Inspectorate to take part in the examination of the application. The period of registration will be announced on the Thames Tideway Tunnel website, through adverts in newspapers and in notices at the 24 proposed construction sites.

Once registration closes, the next stage is the Preliminary Meeting. This is expected to be held by the Examining Authority, a panel of up to five inspectors appointed by the Planning Inspectorate, in September 2013.

The Planning Inspectorate's examination of the proposals is expected to take about six months from the date of the Preliminary Meeting. Once that is concluded, a recommendation on whether or not to grant approval will be submitted approximately three months later to DCLG and DEFRA Secretaries of State.

The final decision is expected in late summer/early autumn 2014. If consent is granted, preparatory construction work on the project is scheduled to start in 2015, with main tunnelling due to begin in 2016. The target completion date is 2023.

Phil Stride, Head of Thames Tideway Tunnel at Thames Water, said: " The team has worked extremely hard over many months to ensure that the application is of a high standard, addressing a wide variety of issues that were raised during the consultation.

" It’s a necessarily lengthy document, covering 24 proposed construction sites in detail, as well as project-wide issues. We have made particular efforts to make the documentation easy formembers of the public to navigate, with clear sign posting of issues relating to individual sites. Local residents should not need to read all of the submission, just the sections relevant to their community."

The decision by the Inspectorate to validate Thames Water's application has brought the expected angry response from Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which has fought a long battle against the project and was urging the Inspectorate to reject plans for the tunnel, which it calls a "white elephant".

The council says it believes there are cheaper, greener and less disruptive ways to make the River Thames cleaner and has vowed to step up the fight against the £4.2 billion tunnel.

The council has also joined local people in Fulham in campaigning against the proposals to place a major construction site for the tunnel on the riverside in Carnwath Road in Fulham.

Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council Deputy Leader says: "How the Planning Inspectorate can wade through 50,000 pages in just two weeks and decide that Thames Water’s flawed consultation was robust will be beyond many people.

"Thames Water has ignored the council and thousands of local residents and the battle against Thames Water’s out-dated sewage tunnel continues. Thames Water has a financial interest in pushing through this gold-plated scheme – while ignoring the alternatives – and we need the inspectors to realise this.

"The Planning Inspectorate should reject Thames Water’s white elephant as we know there are cheaper, greener and far less disruptive ways to make our river cleaner.

"None of us should have to pay an extra £80 a year to line Thames Water’s pockets and the residents of south Fulham should not be locked into the nightmare of living next to a major construction compound for six years when we know there are better alternatives."


April 10, 2013