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Boris tells Thames Water to consider Butler’s Wharf foreshore for ‘super sewer’ works

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has asked Thames Water to give further consideration to using the foreshore in front of the Design Museum as a work site for its new 'super sewer' instead of Alfred Salter Playground in Druid Street.

Thames Water announced last year that it wanted to use the Alfred Salter Playground in Druid Street as a work site to connect the local combined sewer overflow at the Shad Thames Pumping Station to the main tunnel of the proposed Thames Tunnel 'super sewer' along the river.

Public consultation on Thames Water's proposals closed on 14 January and the Mayor of London's submission to Thames Water has now been published.

Last week we reported that young people from the Downside Fisher Youth Club had written to Thames Water with their concerns about the prospect of the temporary loss of the adjacent Alfred Salter Playground.

The playground was chosen from a shortlist of three sites identified by Thames Water for the works. Site 1 would involve works on the foreshore in front of Butler's Wharf and the Design Museum. Site 2 is the car park of the St John's Estate.

Now it has emerged that Boris Johnson has also urged Thames Water to think again.

"The Mayor is not satisfied that alternative sites have been fully explored," says the City Hall submission to Thames Water. "Alternative 1 should be further investigated."

"This would be similarly close to residential properties without removing an area of open space and children's playground in a locality that is very short of such facilities."

"Furthermore Alternative 1 would facilitate use of barges for transport and remove the need for the tunnel connection to King's Stairs Gardens.

"Two further construction sites [St Saviour's Dock and Chambers Wharf] should be examined.

"It is recognised that both of these would require diversion works to the current CSO, but neither result in the loss of accessible open space and the Chambers Wharf site would not be so close to residential properties."

Butler's Wharf was initially rejected by the water company in favour of Druid Street because of the high cost of working on the foreshore, limited road access and the impact on residents and businesses.

In its original consultation document Thames Water said that use of the Butler's Wharf site "would be likely to affect many local homes and businesses".

"The site's use would impact on the existing quay structure (the boardwalk) as this has been built above where the existing CSO discharges into the river.

"There are a number of restaurants, a museum (the Design Museum) and a large number of residential flats next to the site, all of which could face disruption from any construction works in this location."

Thames Water will launch a new round of consultation, based on responses to the initial proposals, later this year.

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