|Government Gives Go Ahead for Super Sewer Site in Fulham|
But "furious" H&F Council may challenge Eric Pickles' decision
Hammersmith & Fulham Council says it has reacted "furiously" to today's approval by the Government of plans to use a residential area in Fulham as a construction site for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, or super sewer.
Today’s decision by Secretaries of State Eric Pickles and Elizabeth Truss to grant Thames Water a development order in Carnwath Road, South Fulham, will, it says, unnecessarily blight the lives of tens of thousands of people.
The council has indicated that it will carefully review the decision. Should it decide to challenge the validity of the decision, it has six weeks from the date of the order being granted to take action.
The council believes there has been a lack of adequate consultation on the selection of the Carnwath Road site with local people.
Local people, who have formed a group called Stop Them Shafting Fulham have also fought a long campaign against the proposed construction site.
Residents and the council believe that the £4.2billion concrete bore hole will cause years of misery which could have been avoided if the site had been located over the river in Barn Elms, as was originally envisaged.
" The park would have been restored after construction was completed, but using Carnwath Road will cause human misery to thousands of people for years to come."
The construction site, which will be the size of four football pitches, is needed to create a major drilling entrance for the 15-mile tunnel under the Thames which aims to tackle the problem of raw sewage entering the river.
The council says that residents living near the site would be subject to 24/7 noise, dust and air pollution, potentially affecting their health and well-being for eight years.
Five schools are within 700 metres of the proposed site at Carnwath Road, as well as several day nurseries. Residential streets face being clogged up with lorries and construction traffic, causing congestion across Fulham and beyond.
The council also says that the loss of potential new homes, jobs and community facilities at Carnwath Road and surrounding area will be damaging to the plans for new housing in London, whereas no new housing can be provided at the protected open space at Barn Elms.
In their letter of explanation, the Secretaries of State say that there is a "‘good case" for granting the development order which is "not outweighed" by the adverse impacts.
Thames Water say the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel scheme is essential to stop sewage overspilling into the Thames during periods of high rainfall and claim last year it could have stopped 97% of such sewage spills. Opponents however say the work will cause major disruption near tunnelling sites such as Carnwath Road.
Preparatory construction work on the Thames Tunnel project is scheduled to start in 2015, with main tunnelling due to begin in 2016. The target completion date is 2023.