Furious reaction to Thames sewer approval

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has reacted furiously to the Government’s approval of plans to use a residential area in Fulham as a ‘Super Sewer’ construction site.

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.

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.

Cllr Stephen Cowan, the Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “This is a disgraceful decision by the Government which effectively says that a piece of park land is more important than a community where thousands of people live.

“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.