Fulham residents delivered more than 2,500 consultation responses to Thames Water last week making it clear that the community is united in its opposition to Carnwath Road being used as the main west London super sewer construction site.
Local residents and school children joined senior Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) councillors to hand over the questionnaires to Thames Water’s Phil Stride.
Local community groups, working together under the Stop them Shafting Fulham (SSF) banner, have campaigned tirelessly since November to alert other local residents to the danger of letting Thames Water’s plans go ahead unchecked.
Thames Water’s own consultation response document was unintelligible and deterred people from responding according to the campaigners but SSF designed a new simplified form – which was approved by Thames Water – and has resulted in hundreds of responses flooding in.
SSF campaigner Ann Rosenberg said: “When Thames Water presented their plans to local residents in December they told us that only 130 people had responded to their consultation. Today we have collected over 2,500 responses making it quite clear that we do not want the sewer dumped on us.
“The idea of a massive construction site running 24/7 for 6 years, flooding our community with noise and dust is horrifying. The area is already badly congested but this project would see at least 29,000 extra HGVs on our narrow residential roads risking the safety of the 4,500 children who go to school within 1,500 metres of the site.”
Greg Hands M.P. said: "It was good to join a big crowd of local residents to hand in the community's objection to Thames Water's proposal to devastate south Fulham. I congratulate residents for their campaign, and I also hope that Thames Water will give the proper weight to the points I made in my submission, which I handed Thames Water at the same time. The middle of a residential area like Fulham is a crazy place to dig a shaft the width of the Channel Tunnel from."
The human cost of the Thames Tunnel 'super sewer' plans for south Fulham will be too high and too much for local people to bear if they are not reversed, according to H&F Council.
In a stark warning the council’s deputy leader has spoken out against Thames Water’s plans to dump the main west London construction site – which will be the size of six football pitches – on the tight-knit residential community around Carnwath Road.
Cllr Nick Botterill has warned that the elderly, vulnerable and the young will be the hardest hit by the major construction site which will operate 24 hours a day for at-least six years.
Thames Water is owned by Australian bank Macquarie and water industry finance experts have said the value of Thames Water as a company could rise by 40% if the sewer plans go ahead. Current regulations encourage water companies to build their way out of problems rather than consider greener, more sustainable options - according to Professor Colin Green, who is a national expert on water economics.
Cllr Botterill says: “The densely packed residential area around Fulham's precious riverside is not suitable for the main super sewer construction site and school children and vulnerable residents should not be put at risk to boost profits for Australian bankers - especially when there are far less disruptive options available.”
Annette Dobson, Headmistress of Thomas' School on Hugon Road, said: “Even the youngest pupil in my school, and they start aged four years old, is intelligent enough to know that the preferred choice for a main drive shaft for this massive engineering project cannot be here at Carnwath Road.
“The proposed site is adjacent to people's homes, near children's schools, on top of people’s places of work and alongside an already congested road. It is plain and simple madness.”