Wandsworth Wants More Changes To Thames Tunnel Plans

To reduce the impacts on local residents & businesses

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In its response to the second consultation on the ‘super sewer’ scheme Wandsworth Council will say the construction methodology has been significantly improved, but more must be done to protect the local community.

The water company plans to locate six major construction sites across Wandsworth to help build the new tunnel and connect it to the existing sewer network. A seventh site will be located just over the borough boundary with Richmond.

The consultation response was backed by the strategic planning and transportation committee last Tuesday evening and is expected to receive final approval from the council’s executive on January 30..

The proposed tunnel aims to capture overflows from London’s Victorian sewers and reduce pollution in the Thames.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said:
“We have come a long way since the first consultation and Thames Water has listened to many of our concerns. In particular we welcome the decisions to move the main drive shaft away from Barn Elms and to shift the Tideway Wharf worksite to Kirtling Street where it will avoid conflict with an ongoing regeneration scheme.

“However, Wandsworth will have to cope with more Thames Tunnel worksites than any other borough and more sensible steps need to be taken to ease the burden on our community.

“We want greater assurances that Thames Water will maximise the use of river transport to reduce the strain on our heavily congested road network. This is particularly important in Putney town centre where we have serious concerns over traffic congestion.

“We have also renewed our call for a cap on the amount local people will pay for the tunnel through increases in their water bills. We believe this project is necessary to clean up the Thames but household budgets are under great pressure and must be protected from a further squeeze.”

Key changes to the Thames Tunnel scheme since the stage one consultation include:


  • Relocating a main drive shaft from Barn Elms Playing Fields to a brownfield site north of the river with a pre-existing industrial jetty. Under the revised scheme Barn Elms would host a smaller Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) site with a shorter and less disruptive construction programme.
  • Shifting the proposed Tideway Wharf main drive shaft to Kirtling Street to avoid conflict with an ongoing regeneration scheme.
  • Relocating a CSO site from Bridges Court Car Park to Falconbrook Pumping Station which is an existing Thames Water site.
  • Relocating a CSO site from Bell Lane Creek to Dormay Street – this avoids the need for Thames Water to relocate an established local employer at the cost of 52 local jobs.
  • The Jews Row CSO site has been dropped from the programme. 
  • Changes have been made to the CSO sites at Putney Embankment, King George’s Park and Heathwall Pumping Station.


To view details of the revised scheme and to respond to the consultation visit www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk

Following the phase two consultation, Thames Water intends to finalise the designs and construction methodology before submitting a planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission in 2012. Construction is expect to start in 2016 and will last for around six to seven years. 

The council’s consultation response is available online.

January 26, 2012