Deptford residents furious over Thames Water plan to build ‘super-sewer’ on green site next to school

Deptford meeting about Tideaway Tunnels

Locals angry over proposed sewage works in Deptford Pic: Lene Wold

Furious residents in Deptford have voiced their concerns over plans for a ‘super-sewer’ system that may be built in the area.

At a meeting on November 15, Thames Water announced that the green land outside St Joseph’s Primary School is their preferred site for the Tideaway Tunnels scheme, which aims to improve the capacity of London’s sewage system.

If the proposal goes ahead, the site – which is in close proximity to two schools, housing and a historic church – will be under construction for over three years.

The meeting, at the Salvation Army Hall, saw residents demand to know why Thames Water had picked the area on Deptford Church Street.

Oliver Seal, from the Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart campaign, urged Thames water not to build “on an area so central to community life”.

He said: “This plan will be a disaster for the local community, and we can’t let this happen to our schoolchildren, businesses and the last green spot in the area.”

Thames Water initially planned to build the Tideaway Tunnels in Borthwick Wharf Foreshore, in Greenwich, but changed its plans following phase one of the consultation.

James Kirk, a local resident, asked why Deptford “suddenly is the preferred site”, adding that he believes Thames Water has ignored its own ‘Site Selection Methodology’. Its evaluation criteria specifies that areas close to schools, residential areas and historic buildings are reasons not to pick a site.

In response, Phil Stride, the Head of London Tideway Tunnels, said that the Borthwick Wharf site would affect more residential properties and it would cause encroachment into the river.

He claimed there would be a permanent ventilation structure that would not smell or look bad. Stride explained that company would use “the quietist equipment to reduce the level of noise” and said locals would have the opportunity to decide how the site will look.

Schoolchild Eve Stanbury, 10, asked Stride if Thames Water knew how her primary school felt about the plans, as she “cannot remember being asked by anyone”.

Stride said she could write to them of fill in a form if she wanted her opinion heard.

He added: “There is a wider benefit here that we are trying to deliver and we work with communities to make sure we address their concerns effectively.”

The Phase 2 consultation will last for 14 weeks, until February 10, when the final decision will be made. The Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart campaign has so far collected 800 signatures petitioning against the proposed works.

A map of the proposed tunnel line and other affected can be found here.

Previous articles on the super sewer:


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