Inspectorate Holds Open Floor Meeting over Super Sewer

Residents invited to voice their concerns of Thames Tunnel project

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An Open Floor hearing of the Planning Inspectorate, which is looking into Thames Water’s 50,000 page planning application for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, or the super sewer as it is widely known, will take place on Wednesday November 20 at The Worx, 10 Heathmans Road in Fulham.

The meeting begins at 9. 30am and is expected to last most of the day. It is open to all, but people wishing to speak should register between 9am and 9.30am.

A spokesman for the Planning Inspectorate, a government body which investigates large planning applications says: " Open Floor meetings are for people who have concerns and who wish to discuss their worries about how the project will affect them."

The Inspectorate's website meanwhile offers these instructions:

Any interested party may speak at an open floor or issue specific hearing, subject to the Examining Authority’s control over the conduct of the hearing. Any party wishing to speak who has not previously advised the Planning Inspectorate in writing of their wish to do so should inform a member of Inspectorate staff as soon as they arrive at the hearing. The Examining Authority will confirm whether or not this request can be granted at the beginning of the hearing or as relevant matters are explored.

Repeating the same points will not assist the Examining Authority. Therefore, where several people or organisations wish to make the same point, they are encouraged to identify a representative who can speak on their behalf.

Examination of the application for the proposed 16 mile long tunnel under the river is due to be completed by March 2014.

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.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which has campaigned against the tunnel and the choice of Carnwath Road in Fulham as one of its access points, is urging loca people to attend the meeting and adds: " It's not too late to have your say!"