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‘Super sewer proposal stinks,’ say campaigners

PUBLISHED: 10:41 15 October 2010

Campaigners at the public consultation with Thames chief Phil Stride

Campaigners at the public consultation with Thames chief Phil Stride

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PROTESTERS confronted a Thames Water chief last week over controversial proposals to build a super sewerage through local beauty sites.

PROTESTERS confronted a Thames Water chief this week over controversial proposals to build a super sewerage through local beauty sites.

Around 50 campaigners came face-to-face with the head of tideway tunnels, Phil Stride, at the community meeting on Tuesday.

Waving placards and banners outside the Beormund Community Centre in Bermondsay, the protesters slammed proposals to construct sewer tunnels through King’s Stairs Gardens and Alfred Salter playground in Rotherhithe.

Under the proposals, tunnels would be placed at the well-loved beauty sites for seven years. They would be part of an ambitious project to build a 20-mile ‘super sewer’ along the Thames in an effort to stop excess sewerage flowing into the river.

Campaigners told The Docklands Mr Stride admitted other potential sites were also being considered for the project.

Donna Spedding, chairman of the Save King’s Stairs Gardens campaign, said: “We couldn’t understand why Thames Water had chosen this beautiful park and children’s playground as their preferred site when there are alternatives.

“But we’re delighted that the head of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project has told us that they’re now actively following up potential alternatives to King’s Stairs Gardens.

She added: “We are not questioning the overall project. But it’s just not right to turn a glorious green open space into an industrial site when there are far better alternatives.

“We’ll be keeping up the pressure to make sure that full and proper consideration is given to the alternative brownfield sites, which are much more suitable than King’s Stairs Gardens for the works.”

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said the public consultation period will run for 14 weeks.

She said: “At this stage no decisions have been made. We want to listen to the views of local people before we go any further with our proposals.

“We encourage everyone with any interest in this project or who lives close to any of our proposed construction sites to take part in the consultation and visit one of our local exhibitions.”

The next consultation will be at the Time and Talents Association in St Marychurch Street, in Rotherhithe on Friday November 5 from 9am to 7pm.

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