Residents who are angry and confused by Thames Water’s plans for a series of sewer construction sites in the borough have been given robust backing by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“Some of the sites proposed by Thames Water are simply unacceptable,” says Leader of the Council, Cllr Stephen Cowan. “We called them in to the Town Hall last night to make it very clear that we will fight them all the way.
“The positive news is that they have agreed to work with us, albeit at the eleventh hour, to see if they can find better sites that would minimise the impact on local residents and businesses.”
Thames Water sent out a consultation document to local residents in May which identified 12 potential sites for the works needed to build the Counters Creek storm relief sewer, in order to reduce the risk of flooding in homes across the borough. Residents who have experienced sewage flushing into their basements in previous years are understandably keen for the works to be done.
But finding suitable sites where existing sewers can be connected to the new storm relief sewer is proving difficult.
Thames Water originally proposed five sites at:
- Kensington Olympia car park (the main tunnelling site)
- 5* car wash in Shepherds Bush
- Mund Street in West Kensington
- Upper Addison Gardens
- Lots Road in Chelsea.
They now propose to use Cremorne Wharf in Chelsea as the main tunnel drive site but have identified nine additional sites in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, leaving residents bewildered. In all, Thames Water say, six sites will be needed.
The additional or alternative sites are at:
- Gwendwr Road or Baron’s Court Road in West Kensington, rather than Mund Street,
- Land at Swanscombe Road and Norland Road, and at Rifle Place and the Town Park at Edward Woods, rather than Upper Addison Gardens and Olympia car park,
- Holland Gardens or Addison Crescent, rather than Olympia car park,
- Sulgrave Road on the corner of Shepherds Bush Road, rather than 5* car wash,
- Verulam House or Astrop Terrace off Hammersmith Grove – as an additional site.
“Everyone agrees with the aims of the works. Sewage in your basement is horrendous,” adds Cllr Cowan. “But it is not right that Thames Water should blight other people’s lives to fix this. There are better sites and we will work with residents to help Thames Water find them. They have now agreed to work with council officers to find less disruptive sites and a further round of detailed consultation with local people will follow.”
Thames Water said: “The proposed Counters Creek sewer flooding alleviation project is essential to ensure that the many customers in the local area who have suffered from the misery of sewer flooding are better protected in the future.
“We will be working intensively with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to ensure that we have investigated all potential sites before we select the preferred route and sites which will go forward to our next stage of consultation.”
For more information on the project and proposed sites, visit the Thames Water Counters Creek website.