Fears over Fulham riverside 'super-sewer' plans

A £3.6bn "super-sewer" project is threatening plans to build homes alongside the Thames, a council said.

Thames Water is considering a stretch along the river in Fulham - at Hurlingham, Whiffin Wharf and Carnwath Road Business Park - as the location for a storage tank for the sewer.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said its plans for new homes and businesses would suffer if the tank was built.

Thames Water said the sites were meant for regeneration or industrial use.

The water company has been reviewing its plan to build an entry to the 21.7-mile (35km) sewer at Barn Elms Playing Fields in Richmond, south-west London, following protests.

The three adjoining sites are being considered as one possible alternative location, but the firm said it had not yet discounted the playing fields.

The revised plans come after a 14-week public consultation ended in January. A second consultation will begin in September before a planning application is submitted in mid-2012.

'Major blight'

An area the size of three football pitches is needed for the tank.

Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: "Millions of pounds worth of inward investment would be lost if Thames Water pushes ahead with this plan, and the disruption and noise nuisance will be a major blight to the area.

"We will fight Thames Water all the way on this, as the massive entry compound can only be justified in an area of open land well away from built-up areas."

Phil Stride, head of London Tideway Tunnels at Thames Water, said the firm wanted to consider all its options.

He said: "Unlike Barn Elms Playing Fields, Carnwath Road Riverside is brownfield, not greenfield, and is already designated for regeneration or industrial use.

"It is not important for recreation, would not require any tree felling and is not Metropolitan Open Land.

"On the other hand, more residents and businesses would be directly affected at Carnwath Road Riverside than at Barn Elms Playing Fields."

The "super-sewer" will run below the ground, from west to east London, following the River Thames.

When completed in 2020, it will support the existing Victorian system and capture 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage spilling into the river each year.

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