Thames presses on with park sewer tunnel

King Edward Memorial Park's waterfront, courtesy of SaveKEMP:

Thames Water is being accused of “ignoring over 10,500 people” and being  “hell bent” on continuing the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel through King Edward Memorial Park, Shadwell.

According to the water company, King Edward Memorial Park will be used to connect the existing North East Storm Relief Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) with the main tunnel. An area of the park will also be used temporarily for construction works.

Thames Water have  announced that after much resident protest and a 14-week examination period, the original 24 proposed development sites have not changed. Other areas of development include sites in Southwark, Fulham and Shadwell.

Thames Water explains that the proposed 22-mile-long tunnel will stop millions of tons of raw sewage from being dumped into the Thames with the system surpasses overall capacity.

The Save King Edward Memorial Park Campaign (SaveKEMP) released this statement: “We are deeply disappointed that Thames Water have ignored the overwhelming will of the local community and our elected representatives and decided to build on our only local park instead of a brownfield site that is earmarked for redevelopment. What they have failed to understand is that as a community, we are prepared to put up with some disruption as long as the park is saved. They failed to understand the very first premise of the campaign and, once again, they have shown utter disregard for our community.”

Emma Dunsire, Vice Chair and Campaign Coordinator for the Save Kemp Campaign explained to East London Lines that the campaign itself is not against the tunnel in principal but think the choice of sites are very poor.

She said: “Worst case scenario, we know that something has to be done in this area, and we’d rather put up with a bit more disruption, as long as the park is left alone.”

In response, Thames Water representative Nick Tennant told East London Lines: “The park will be saved, and the park will stay open. We think we can leave the park a better place and leave improvements behind us. That’s not to say there won’t be disruption, but the park will not close and we believe we can make improvements as a result of us doing this work.”

According to Mr. Tennant, “above all, the river will be cleaner and a more attractive thing to go and sit beside.”

King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore Plan pic: Thames Water

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  1. Toni Davey May 23, 2012
  2. Sue Quinton May 23, 2012
  3. Eric Sivry May 28, 2012

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