Says government's go ahead "makes an absolute mockery of the planning system"
Carnwath Road Coalition, a group of residents in Fulham fighting has responded to the Government’s decision to allow Thames Water to site their main drive shaft for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, or super sewer, on a riverside site in Carnwath Road.
The coalition is "deeply concerned" about the decision and says it will have an irreversible adverse impact on the health and well-being of thousands of residents who live and go to school in or near Carnwath Road. It will also impact on the quality of life of all South Fulham residents and damage the local economy.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has also reacted to the decision by Secretary of State Eric Pickles and has indicated that it may challenge its validity. You can read more about this here and more about Thames Water's plans for the site here.
A spokesman for the coalition says: " The way that the Government has simply dismissed all the objections from the Planning Inspectorate makes an absolute mockery of the planning system.
" Because of the substantial damage which the local community now faces in social, health and environmental terms, we call on the Mayor and LBH & F to make strong commitments to protecting local residents as best they can by continuously pressing Thames Water, the Infrastructure Provider, and the contractors to proceed with the utmost respect for the lives of the many vulnerable Londoners who are now going to suffer in the name of the dubious benefits of this tunnel project."
The Carnwath Road Coalition’s submission to the Planning Inspectorate in March 2014 highlighted the adverse impact of noise and stress on mental and physical health.
In Carnwath Road, it says, there are 1,212 people living within 200 metres of the site. This includes 202 people who live 1 metre or less from the site. 202 of those living within 200m of the site have a health condition which includes 77 people with asthma which will be made worse by construction air pollution.
The 2011 survey covered only 85% of homes in the area so this is likely to be an underestimate. Some of the housing association developments along Carnwath Road have been built specifically for disabled residents, and border the site. There is no alternative housing to offer them.
There are 36 sheltered housing units with 37 vulnerable residents within 200m of the site which will be subjected to noise, dust, vibration, traffic congestion.
Residents are not in a position to move anywhere else. Specifically, Hammersmith & Fulham Council has confirmed that it would not be able to relocate vulnerable elderly or disabled residents, as there is not sufficient vacant sheltered housing in the Borough, and the Council would be under no obligation to do so.
Approximately 244 children under 15 live within 200m of the site. Over 4,500 children attend the 17 schools and nurseries within 1,500m of the site and will be affected by decreased air quality, shown to aggravate respiratory illnesses like asthma.
THE IMPACT ON CHILDREN /schools
- TW have failed to properly consider overall impacts upon local schools including the cognitive impacts upon pupils. Schoolchildren were deemed to be “medium sensitivity receptors” rather than “high”.
- Light, noise, vibration and air pollution from the site will go on 24/7 for 4 years . Work on the site will continue for 7-9 years – the length of a child’s education.
- Heavy HGV traffic also risks impacting all neighbourhood children on their way to/from school.
The key factors of adverse impact prejudicing the health and well-being of all residents in the borough are: noise, light pollution, air pollution, low level vibration, HGV traffic causing congestion in the surrounding narrow residential streets. These are all stress factors which are proven to damage the health and affect the well-being of residents. Thames Water’s mitigating proposals are at best untested, and at worst likely to be ineffectual and unenforceable.
The overall impact of the Thames Tunnel drive shafts located within a densely populated area will be to irreversibly damage the mental and physical health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of the community, and the decade long stress thereby also likely to damage community cohesion.
The campaigners are also asking local people to write to local MP Greg Hands asking him to apply pressure to have the decision reversed.
They say: " The email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add your address and post code after your signature, as he needs to know you are a constituent. In the subject line you could put: OBJECTION TO THE THAMES TUNNEL IN CARNWATH ROAD.
He is aware that there is an election in May 2015. "
The Carnwath Road Coalition, was formed to challenge Thames Water’s decision to site a main draft shaft in Carnwath Road. It represents RATs (Residents Against the Thames Sewer), PRARA, (Peterborough Road and Area Residents Association, HDRA, (Hurlingham and District Residents Association), The Fulham Society, The Parsons Green Club, Wandsworth Bridge Traders Association, St Matthews Church Wandsworth Bridge Road, Riverside West Residents Association, Regent on the River Residents Association, and Battersea Reach Residents Association.
September 26, 2014