Wandsworth Council calls for locals to have more time to respond
Thames Water has bowed to pressure and extended its first round consultation on the Thames Tunnel project to Friday 14 January 2011. The consultation was originally due to close on December 20.
Councillors argue that much more needs to be done to engage with and inform the local community and residents need longer to examine the implications of this complex scheme.
To view the plans and submit a comments visit www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk
A public meeting with Thames Water is taking place at 8pm, Thursday 9 December, at St Mary's Church, Putney.
Meanwhile Wandsworth Council opposes the use of Barn Elms playing fields as one of the scheme’s main tunnelling sites.
Councillors say this would subject local residents to seven years of severe disruption, promote traffic problems and result in an unacceptable loss of playing fields and parkland.
There are also serious concerns over impacts on the riverside towpath between Putney and Barnes which has an unspoilt, rural character and is extremely well used by local families and walkers from all over London.
The site could also affect rowers and other river users as well as major events such as the Head of the River Race, the Great River Race and the University Boat Race.
Although the council supports investment in the capital's sewage system, it fears the enormous costs and disruption involved in this scheme could outweigh the potential benefits.
Councillors say the work should take place on a brown field site which would have a much smaller impact on riverside communities.
Because the scheme is classified as a national infrastructure project it does not need local authority planning consent and Thames Water can acquire its preferred sites using compulsory purchase powers.
A second round of consultations will take place in 2011 and Thames Water expects to submit a full planning application in mid 2012, with the seven-year construction programme commencing in 2013.
December 2, 2010