Protesters rally against super sewer infringing on East End park
PUBLISHED: 17:44 10 January 2011 | UPDATED: 09:00 11 January 2011
DOZENS of East Enders took to their award-winning park to protest against it being dug up to make way for Thames Water’s new “super sewer”.
Residents are fearful that part of King Edward Memorial Park – which regularly wins prestigious Green Flag status – will be lost when the water company starts work on the 20-mile long tunnel in 2013.
Around 1,200 have signed a petition to stop the works going ahead.
Thames Water is planning a £3.6billion upgrade of London’s aging sewer system along the route of the river, from Chelsea and Putney in the west to Wapping and the Dockland in the east.
Yesterday (January 9), up to 80 protesters turned up at the Glamis Road park to rally support for what they see as an attack on one of the area’s largest green spaces.
Carl Dunsire, chair of Save King Edward Memorial Park, said: “This is such an important resource for everyone that it is madness to suggest it could be unusable for up to seven years and permanently blighted once work has finished.
“There are very few green spaces like it in what is a very built up area.”
The group is arguing there is brownfield land nearby that could be used for excavation instead of the park.
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said the current proposal would leave a “permanent scar” on the banks of the river.
He added: “Thames Water needs to listen, to do its homework more thoroughly, and to come back with alternatives.”
There is just a week to go on the first part of the Thames Water consultation, which has been running since September.
Thames Water said it has held four full days of public exhibitions in Tower Hamlets and given five presentations to local residents’ groups.
It has received almost 250 responses so far from residents in the borough
A spokesperson said last month: “We shortlisted only two possible work sites close to where the North East Storm Relief Sewer discharges into the river Thames.
“We assessed the suitability of each site by taking into account engineering, planning, environment, property and community considerations.”