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Residents in Hammersmith and Fulham are invited to two drop in sessions being held this month by the Planning Inspectorate, when it will explain how it intends to scrutinise the 50,000 page planning document for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, or super sewer.

The Planning Inspectorate – a Government body that investigates large planning applications – has set up the sessions on the following dates.

Wednesday, May 15 
Drop in: 2pm -5pm 
Hammersmith Town Hall 

Thursday, May 23 
Drop in: 5pm -7pm 
Presentation and Q&A: 7pm -8pm 
Wharf Rooms, Imperial Road, Fulham

Anyone with views about the Thames Tideway Tunnel can now register as an interested party with the Planning Inspectorate to take part in the examination of the application. You can register until May 28 on the Inspectorate's website or call the helpline on 0303 444 5000.

Hard copies of the full documentation are available 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 is also available free of charge, and it can be scrutinised online via the Planning Inspectorate's website.

The Planning Inspectorate confirmed last month that the application for Development Consent for the super sewer, submitted by Thames Water on February 28, was valid. That meant the Inspectorate has accepted that Thames Water’s consultation for the project, which started in September 2010, was adequate.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has consistently opposed the Thames Tunnel project, including Thames Water's selection of Fulham's riverside for a major construction site.

H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, says: " It is absolutely crucial that local people, whose lives will be blighted by this scheme for many years, continue to make their voices heard.

"Not only should they attend the drop-in sessions but they should also register with the Planning Inspectorate as this is the only way that individuals can be involved in the examination of the plans."

The Planning Inspectorate says that 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.

May 9, 2013