There are alternative sites
- Thames Water are cheating on us by not showing their calculations, like a naughty schoolboy cheating in a maths test. We have seen no costings, no alternative sites, just a fait accompli The Druid St railway arches are available, but more expensive, there is an available building site near Kings Stairs Gardens that is available, but more expensive. Thames Water is owned by an Australian bank, which cares not about a children's playground on a housing estate by Tower bridge, nor Metropolitan Open Land by The River.
- The private monopoly is protected by statute, and can demand compulsory purchase - a legacy of Thatcher's rush to privatisation - we cannot boycott like we can with Nestle (for example).
- Thames Water needs an environmental policy which includes open spaces, rather than the 'green-wash' it spouts, like an overfull drain.
Whilst visiting a friend in Rotherhithe, today, she showed me the letter she had received today. Thames Water evidently purchased the land from St Martin's last Autumn. It is not clear as to why St Martin's/Berkeley Homes are no longer planning to develop this large site - but it does fit in with Thames Water's initial decision not to use land which has already has homes on it.
It seems, to say the least, rather odd - but I am sure they will have anm 'explanation' for not making this public much sooner.
You're not quite right, Philpotts24. Last November St Martins (the property arm of the State of Kuwait) decided to sell the Chambers Wharf site rather than develop it themselves. Thames Water were made aware of this and investigated the possibilities of the site. Last month they announced (http://www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk/article.aspx?NID=312) that they had bought the site in conjunction with St James (part of Berkeley Homes) and they are now assessing Chambers as an alternative to King's Stairs Gardens. Apparently Chambers ticks a lot of boxes for them as it's a derelict, undeveloped brownfield site anyway; the geological and river access conditions are better for them; it won't mean interrupting the existing Thames Path; and it won't involve destroying an existing public facility/recreation area, Metropolitan Open Land, and lots of mature trees. But for the time being King's Stairs Gardens remains their preferred option and at the moment they're not putting forward any alternatives to the Alfred Salter playground which therefore is also still under threat.