|Council Approve Plans for High Rise Buildings on Super Sewer Site|
But scheme must be authorised by Secretary of State before going ahead
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has approved plans for 475 new homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities in buildings up to 12 storeys high on a site earmarked by Thames Water for a Thames Tunnel construction site.
However, this approval puts the council in direct conflict with the government, which has made it clear it regards the proposed tunnel - nicknamed the super sewer - as of national importance.
The plans for a site on Carnwath Road, including Hurlingham and Whiffen Wharves and Carnwath Road Industrial Estate, were submitted by Fulham Riverside West Partnerships, a consortium of owners which includes Hammersmith and Fulham Council itself, in July last year. You can read the full details here.
However, in the same month, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that plans for the Thames Tunnel, nicknamed the super sewer, were being referred to the Planning Inspectorate’s National Infrastructure Directorate.
The Department for Communities and Local Government said in spring 2012 that it regarded the proposed tunnel to be a "nationally significant infrastructure project" and issued a Safeguarding Direction to Hammersmith and Fulham Council over the site.
The Direction prevented the council from granting permission for other projects on the site. You can read the full story here.
At the time, Hammersmith and Fulham Council responded angrily to the announcement, arguing that it was totally inappropriate for the Government to class the Thames Tunnel super-sewer as nationally significant when it would only cover a 20 mile long stretch of the River Thames and only Thames Water customers would pay for it.
H & F Council Leader, Cllr Nick Botterill says: " We are imploring the Secretary of State to approve this positive riverside regeneration, which would be the new home of the RNLI in west London as well as providing a new arts hub and hundreds of new homes, rather than the nightmare that is Thames Water’s sewage pipe construction compound.”
However, the Department of Communities and Local Government may have already made its decision.
The Safeguarding Direction from the DCLG to the council states: " Put simply, the effect of this Direction is that, without specific authorisation from DCLG, your authority cannot grant planning permission on any application in respect of any land to which this Direction relates."
Thames Water, meanwhile is expected to lodge its application for the Thames Tunnel in the next few weeks.
January 17, 2013