Park campaigners building mock-up Thames Tideway ‘super sewer’ shafts

Mock-up of sewer ventilation towers campaigners say will blight Shadwell's Memorial Park

Mock-up of sewer ventilation towers campaigners say will blight Shadwell's Memorial Park - Credit: Archant

Families campaigning to stop their park being used as a seven-year construction site for London’s proposed Thames Tideway ‘super sewer’ are putting up life-size replicas of the ventilation shafts to show what the scheme would be like.

The campaigners are hoping to stop Thames Water building four towers 25ft high on the foreshore along Shadwell’s King Edward Memorial Park.

They have organised an event in the park over the Bank Holiday weekend, supported by Tower Hamlets Council, to get public backing before the deadline for submissions to the Government Inspectorate closes on May 28.

“We are installing replicas of the shafts so that people can have a taste of what the impact in the park will really be like,” said campaigner Emma Dunsire.

“Up to now we’ve seen beautified sketches and what Thames Water calls ‘artist impressions’ of the park after the super sewer is built.

“But those images were highly manipulated and disingenuous—it’s time people see themselves what the vents will be like.”

They are not able to mock up the whole promontory, nor all four proposed shafts or the industrial building Thames Water wants at the edge of the park ecology area.

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“Nevertheless the two mock-up vents will look bad enough,” Emma added. “This is an idea of what the future might hold if the plans go ahead.”

The campaigners are running information stalls by the mock-ups, possibly on Saturday and again Bank Holiday Monday, urging people to register to give evidence to the public inquiry opening in September.

Their Bank Holiday event follows a series of public consultation meetings held across London earlier this month, the first at Shadwell’s Glamis Hall on May 2, just two minutes from the park, which attracted around 70 people.

Thames Water argues that the 17-mile Tideway tunnel running under the riverbed from Barnes to Limehouse is essential because London’s overloaded Victorian sewer network is spilling untreated sewage into the river more and more.