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Council to oppose Thames Water plans for Shad Thames Pumping Station

Southwark Council is likely to oppose plans by Thames Water to extend its Shad Thames Pumping Station in Maguire Street as part of its 'super sewer' project.

Council to oppose Thames Water plans for Shad Thames Pumping Station

Papers to be considered by Southwark's cabinet next week show that the council is planning to object to Thames Water's 'super sewer' proposal, both in principle and in terms of the plans for Chambers Wharf and Shad Thames Pumping Station.

If the draft response is approved by the cabinet next Tuesday, Southwark Council leader Peter John will write to Thames Water to reiterate the findings of the Selborne Commission which was part-sponsored by the council.

"On the basis of the findings of the commission, Southwark will continue to dispute the need for the tunnel until there has been an environmental and economic reassessment of the proposal," says Cllr John.

"As set out in the findings of the commission, Southwark wishes to raise serious concerns about the escalating costs of the Thames Tunnel and the impact this will have on customers, pushing a significant proportion of Thames Water bill payers into water poverty."

That Southwark is opposing the use of Chambers Wharf in SE16 as a main construction site does not come as a surprise, but this is the first time that the council has commented on the proposals for major works at Shad Thames Pumping Station in Maguire Street.

Last year Thames Water announced that it was considering the installation of new high-powered pumps in the Maguire Street building to keep sewage out of the Thames instead of connecting the local sewer to the proposed Thames Tunnel through a work site at the Alfred Salter Playground in Druid Street.

However, the council warns that the Maguire Street proposals could have a serious effect on local residents.

"Given the proximity of the proposals to existing residential properties, including those immediately adjacent to the site, there is serious concern that the construction works (including excavation activity) and relating vehicular traffic will result in significant harm to the living conditions of neighbouring residents," says the council's draft letter.

The council also raises concerns about the proposed demolition of part of the Edwardian pumping station, which is in a conservation area, and the effect of the proposed works on nearby listed buildings.

Cllr John's letter also asks the water company for more details of how its proposals will take account of the archaeological evidence of Bronze Age field systems thought to exist in the area.

"These are among some of the most significant archaeological remains of the development of agriculture in the UK," says Cllr John.

Thames Water will hold a public exhibition of its Thames Tunnel proposals at City Hall from Wednesday to Friday this week. On Thursday evening Val Shawcross AM is chairing a public meeting with representatives of Thames Water and Save Your Riverside to discuss the proposals for Chambers Wharf.

Southwark's Council Assembly next Wednesday will also receive a deputation from the Save Your Riverside group and debate a motion on the 'super sewer'.

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