Tower Hamlets pupils hand in petition to stop super sewer running through park in Shadwell

Pupils at a school in Tower Hamlets have handed in a petition with 10,500 signatures against a super sewer running through a popular waterfront park in Shadwell.

The petition to stop Thames Water using the King Edward VII Memorial Park as a construction site for the super sewer was passed to the head of the project, Phil Stride, at St Paul’s Primary School, Wellclose Square, Shadwell, on Monday.

The signatures were collected by the SaveKEMP campaign and handed in before a phase two consultation closes this Friday.

The campaigners say they are not against plans for a super sewer but are urging Thames Water to opt for a brownfield site, at Heckford Trading Estate on the Highway, instead.

Construction work would mean the closure of the memorial park for at least three and half years and damage the mature vegetation and wildlife habitats beyond repair, according to campaigners.

Campaign chairman Carl Dunsire said: “The petition marks a milestone. We’ve campaigned over a year, in all weather conditions, to make sure that the whole community was fairly represented and got a chance to voice its views.

“We hope that this time round Thames Water do the right thing. The choice is between the only park we have left and a site that is up for redevelopment and that just happens to have a concrete plant next to it.”

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The pupils, aged five to 11, also performed a play, ‘A space For Me’ written by themselves, to try to convince Mr Stride how important the park is for children.

Along with the petition 1,203 responses to the Phase 2 consultation were also handed in.

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “When the consultation closes we’ll consider all the feedback carefully and consider what changes can be made.”

A consultation report is expected to be published in May and Thames Water hope to submit its plans this Summer followed by a planning application towards the end of the Summer.