St Joseph’s school children join the fight against Thames Water’s plans for super sewer in Deptford

Children at St Joseph's oppose sewer plans

School children will be put at risk and face noise, smell and dust pollution for more than three years if the proposed Thames Tunnel super sewer in Deptford goes ahead, school governors have warned.

Residents and campaigners in Deptford have heavily opposed the plans after a meeting in November, when Thames Water announced that the green land outside St Joseph’s Primary School was their preferred site, despite not making the short list in the first round of consultation.

Henry Sullivan, Head of Governors, said: “This is the last thing St Joseph’s needs.” He explained that the children would face noise and dust as they work and that the site is the school’s fire safety gathering point, something that could lead to delays in checking that pupils are safe in case of fire.

This week children, teachers and governors at St Joseph’s joined the Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart campaign.

Children wrote letters to Thames Water, with one pupil pleading with them to “please find a heart for Deptford” and another worried about smells saying: “Parents will not appreciate us smelling of poo.”

Liberty Mosse, of the Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart campaign, said he really appreciated the children getting involved and that he hoped Thames Water would take their honest pleas into concern.

“We are still waiting for Thames Water to explain how this green space has gone from not even being shortlisted in phase one to being the preferred site now,” Mosse said.

Phil Stride, head of Tideway Tunnel, explained in an earlier interview with EastLondonLines that the Borthwick Wharf site, which was initially considered, would affect more residential properties and cause encroachment into the river.

He also said the work on the site would follow “normal working hours” and that noise, dust and smell would be at a minimum.

However, even Thames Water’s own Environmental Impact report says that St Joseph’s will experience sound and noise from the site.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Mosse said, adding that their original proposed site in Borthwick Wharf Foreshore, in Greenwich, is much more suitable.

Currently the Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart campaign continues with plans for further meetings, canvassing efforts and a winter picnic before the final consultation closes on February 12.

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