Super Sewer anger as Thames Water snub thousands of Fulham residents

Water giant ignores massive local opposition to tunnelling from Carnwath Road

Greg Hands M.P. has condemned Thames Water for snubbing the thousands of local residents who wrote to oppose the Super Sewer. More than 3,000 residents from Fulham and Chelsea responded directly to Thames Water’s consultation and a further 5,000 signed petitions against locating the main bore site in Carnwath Road.

Despite this, Thames Water has announced that they will press ahead with their plans because “no new information” emerged.

The scale of the response was unprecedented. Thames Water switched the main bore site from Barn Elms, in Richmond, after receiving only 685 objections during the Phase 1 consultation. During Phase 2, more people objected to using Carnwath Road than had objected to all 22 Phase 1 sites across London combined.

More than half of all the consultation responses in Phase 2 were about the use of residential Fulham for 24-hour tunnelling, which will cause an estimated 29,000 lorries to clog local roads as they move spoil and machinery.

Concerns about noise, disruption, local schools, odour, economic impact and much else took Thames Water more than 20 pages to summarise in their main report. The text refers to a supplementary report that is supposed to address residents’ concerns in detail but, when asked, the company revealed it has yet to be completed and won’t be published for several weeks.

Although 91% opposed the plans, Thames Water is only contemplating minor alterations to the layout of the site and says it will not consider other changes. It insists that using a “brownfield” site that lies “in close proximity to residential housing” is better than using alternatives like playing fields with no housing nearby.

Controversy will also be sparked by the exclusion of the Stop the Shaft petition. The petition was signed by 4,766 residents and gets a mention in the report, but is missing from the list of responses and petitions that Thames Water formally considered.

Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “I am appalled that Thames Water has casually dismissed the overwhelming view of thousands of local people. It is now proven beyond any doubt that there is massive opposition to using Carnwath Road.

“Thames Water have a duty to listen. This is a quiet residential site, ringed by homes and schools, and is completely unsuitable for this enormous construction project.

“Our re-elected Mayor of London pledged to defend Fulham residents and has suggested that the entire project be rethought.

“I’m with Boris and with my constituents: these plans have to stop.”