Thames Tideway Tunnel
The Thames Tideway Tunnel is proposed to start at Carnwath Road in Fulham and run approximately 20 miles through the heart of London, and up to 75 metres beneath the River Thames, broadly following the path of the river. Although we are strongly opposed to the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel the planning process for the approval of the tunnel construction sites is continuing.
On 27 March 2013 the Secretary of State decided to accept the Thames Tideway Tunnel application for examination. For more details please visit the Planning Inspectorate Website.
On 21 December 2012 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government served directions with immediate effect on the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and other local authorities. These directions safeguard land for all tunnel alignments that form part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project from Acton Storm Tanks in West London to Abbey Mills pumping station in East London – more details.
The Thames Tunnel planning process
The Secretary of State announced in September 2010 that development consent for the Thames Tunnel project would be dealt with under the regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects established by the Planning Act 2008. This means that the planning application for the Thames Tunnel will not be decided by local councils or by the Mayor of London but by the Planning Inspectorate.
The planning process involves the following stages:
- Pre-application: Thames Water carried out the pre-application process (Section 48 publicity) for 12 weeks, between 16 July and 5 October 2012
- Development Consent Application: The application for development consent for the Thames Tunnel is likely to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in early 2013. The Planning Inspectorate will have 28 days to decide whether there has been an effective consultation and whether the application meets the required standards. We can make representations to the Planning Inspectorate about the adequacy of the consultation carried out. If the application is accepted, the Inspectorate will invite us to submit a Local Impact Report (LIR). The Local Impact Report is a report that details the likely impact of the proposed development on the authority’s area.
- Pre-examination (two to three months): Inspectors will be appointed to assess the issues and will hold preliminary meetings and set a timetable. The preliminary meetings will be procedural decisions on how the application is to be examined. The Inspectors will set out the deadline for the submission of the LIR.
- Examination: the Planning inspectorate has six months to carry out the examination. We will submit the LIR and make representations.
- Decision: The decision to grant or refuse development consent will be taken jointly by the Secretaries of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra).
- Post-decision: There is a six-week period for legal challenge
Thames Water proposed sites in the borough
This site is made up of a number of land parcels along Carnwath Road. The proposal is to drive a tunnel boring machine from this site to Acton Storm Tanks. A main tunnel shaft with an internal diameter of approximately 25m and approximately 42m deep would be constructed.
We argue that the impact of using Carnwath Road as a main construction site would have such an impact on the future development of the area and on the daily lives of local residents, particularly those fronting onto the site and children attending the many local schools, that an alternative drive strategy should be considered that would remove the need to use these wharves as a main construction site.
Hammersmith Pumping Station compound is in Chancellor’s Road, off Fulham Palace Road. The site is dominated by a large two to three storey building with an industrial appearance. The proposal is to intercept the existing Hammersmith Pumping Station combined sewer overflow.
A major problem with any construction proposals for this site is the potential suspension of residents’ parking bays in Chancellors Road during the construction period. No alternative parking provision has yet been identified. We consider that every opportunity to maximise the use of the river for construction purposes should be explored, to avoid further congestion of Fulham Palace Road.
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