|Greenfield Guardians Gather New Strength|
Putney Society & Barnes Community Association sign up to the Save Barn Elms Alliance
This growing coalition of campaigns is fighting to save a valuable playing field from being used as a giant construction compound during the seven year construction of the Thames Tunnel ‘super sewer’.
Both of the new member organisations have formidable track records as environmental campaigners and have been among the leading opponents of the Barn Elms worksite.
The tunnelling scheme’s architect, Thames Water, has identified an alternative brownfield location where these works could take place. Unlike greenfield Barn Elms this is a semi-derelict industrial site with no trees, no grassland, no sports pitches, no riverside towpath and no wildlife habitats to disturb.
A final decision on which of these sites will be used has not yet been made and the Save Barn Elms Alliance has pledged to continue its campaign until the playing fields are declared safe.
The coalition’s full membership now includes residents' pressure group Stop the Shaft, Wandsworth and Richmond Councils, local MPs Justine Greening and Zac Goldsmith, GLA members Richard Tracey and Tony Arbour, The Putney Society and The Barnes Community Association.
More than 14,000 Londoners have signed Stop the Shaft's petition opposing the Barn Elms tunnelling site including high profile figures like Lawrence Dallaglio, Patricia Hodge, Daisy Waugh, Philip Glenister, Peter Snow, Anneka Rice, Gyles Brandreth and Alistair McGowan.
Putney Society Chairman Carolyn McMillan said:
“Everyone involved in the Alliance fully supports the objectives of the Thames Tunnel project, but cannot accept the use of these playing fields as a main tunnelling site. Greenfield land is simply too precious to the people of London and now that a brownfield alternative is on the table Thames Water must reprieve Barn Elms.”
Barnes Community Association Chairman Gary Smith said:
“By forming a united front we can turn up the pressure on Thames Water to withdraw their preference for this incredibly valuable land. Anyone who has ever visited Barn Elms will realise why so many of us are banding together to try and save it. It really is a very special part of the riverside and should never have been considered for such long lasting and destructive work.”
The Alliance is not opposed to the 'super sewer' project as a whole, only the use of this unspoilt beauty spot as the main tunnelling site.
For more information on the Barnes Community Association visit www.barnescommunityassociation.org
For more information on the Putney Society visit www.putneysociety.org.uk
August 10, 2011