Owners of Fulham Super Sewer Site Submit Plans for 474 New Homes

But Government direction prevents H & F Council from granting permission

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Thames Tunnel Commission Report in Full

Thames Tunnel Consultation

2006 Review by Jacobs Babtie

Fulham RATS

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But Environmental Groups say Tunnel is "Only Real Option"

Join the discussion on this story on the Fulham forum

Fulham Riverside West Partnerships, the consortium which owns the derelict Whiffen and Hurlingham Wharves on Fulham's Riverside, plus Carnwath Industrial Estate, have submitted plans to Hammersmith and Fulham Council to build 474 new homes, plus commercial units and public space on the site.

This site however is also Thames Water's preferred site for an access shaft to the Thames Tunnel, or super sewer as it is nicknamed, and the Government has made it clear it wants the site to be used for this purpose.

The partnership consists of The Comer Homes Group, whch owns Hurlingham and Whiffen Wharf, Nortrust, owners of Carnwath Road Industrial Estate and the Hammersmith and Fulham Council itself, which owns a portion of land along the river and to the east of Carnwath Road Industrial Estate.

They say they want to "create a vibrant new riverside community" to the west of Wandsworth Bridge and east of Hurlingham Park.

The proposals are split into three applications, each relating to the two separate wharves and the industrial estate, and could also create public areas and leisure facilities, along the the reinstatement of the Thames River path.

Whiffen Wharf
71 new homes with residential gardens and 101 square metres of office and affordable business space and 43 basement car parking and 87 cycling spaces.

Hurlingham Wharf
Office space on the west side and a new tree-lined square leading through to restaurant space on the Thames. There would also be 148 new homes and open workshop buildings for artists and artisans.

Carnwath Road Industrial Estate
A piazza would provide a destination for pedestrians from Peterborough Road with the main entrance to the site, fringed by shops and restaurants, looking out onto the Thames. Residential gardens as well as a large public area with sweeping views along the Thames.

This area would also host smaller commercial spaces, with an arcade along Carnwath Road hosting affordable business space and artisan workshops. Approximately 255 new homes and 909 sq m of space for new shops and 620 sq m space for new restaurants'

The council says it will launch a consultation on the proposals shortly and the planning applications committee is expected to consider the plans later in the year.

However, this brings the Tory led council into direct conflict with the Department of Communities and Local Government. In April it served a new safeguarding direction on the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, which prevents the council from granting planning permission on any application on the drive site.

The department had issued a previous direction in March, overriding the council in protecting the site.

At the time a Communities and Local Government spokesman said: " The Government considers the Thames Tunnel to be a nationally significant infrastructure project and our decisive action now reduces the chance of delay and the possibility of escalating costs from sites being lost that may potentially be needed for building this project."

In May, Thames Water announced they did not intend to change their plans for super sewer construction sites, including Carnwath Road, following recent public consultations.

The water company admitted that the Carnwath Road proposals attracted the most comments during the consultation - 3,138 and two petitions, but added: " We believe that no new information has been highlighted that would change the conclusions of our site selection pocess to date."

Thames Water added that they intended to progress with preparation of an application for a development consent order. You  can read a summary of their report here.

Thames Water's proposals have been strongly opposed by local residents, who formed a group called Fulham RATS, concerned about air pollution, extra lorries on the roads and noise caused by construction on the site.

However the proposals from the landowners could also prove highly controversial as they also involve long term construction on the site, and outlining the plans on their website they say that buildings on Whiffen Wharf will rise to seven storeys and those on Hurlingham Wharf will reach nine storeys.

Meanwhile current low rise Carnwatch Industrial Estate is to be demolished and replaced by piazzas and arcades rising in some parts to 12 storeys - or as Fulham Riverside West Partnerships put it: "Taller buildings to give dramatic impact and generate interest on the east side of the development."


July 5, 2012