Conflict: planning officers back housing scheme on planned ‘super sewer’ site
Planners have recommended for approval Harper Downie’s scheme for 475 homes on the riverside site which Thames Water has proposed for one of its ‘super sewer’ tunnel shafts
In a report submitted ahead of a planning applications committee meeting on 8 January, officers at Hammersmith & Fulham Council said that ‘the proposed development [was] in accordance with the Council’s aspirations for the area and the principle of residential redevelopment will make effective use of previously under-utilised land.’
The report added: ‘The proposal represents a high quality development which would make a positive contribution to the riverside, providing a vibrant new urban quarter in this part of the Borough.’
As well as residential units, the London-based practice’s plans for the site (which comprises Carnwath Road Industrial Estate, Hurlingham Wharf and Whiffen Wharf) submitted by developer Fulham Riverside West Partnership (FRWP) include office space and a riverside piazza with restaurants and shopping units.
The planning officers’ report is another blow to Thames Water’s ‘super sewer’ plans, which is opposed by many residents in the borough. Hammersmith and Fulham’s council leader, Nicholas Botterill blasted the plans late last year, saying: ‘Thames Water’s hare-brained stink-pipe plans are a disaster… They are a disaster for the environment – which would benefit much more from green solutions and most importantly, they are a disaster for residents and home-owners in south Fulham.’
However, a Safeguarding Direction issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government prevents Hammersmith & Fulham Council from granting planning permission to any developments on the site.
Phil Stride, Head of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: ‘This does not prevent the Council’s planning committee from meeting to discuss the merits of applications and making resolutions. However, any resolution to grant planning permission would need to be referred to the Secretary of State for his specific authorisation, before any planning permission could be granted.’
He added: ‘We have gone through a rigorous site selection process over the past several years. Carnwath Road Riverside is our preferred construction site. It is a brownfield site and benefits from good river and strategic road transport links. There would also be much less conflict with the recreational users of the River Thames than at Barn Elms, the greenfield site we initially identified at phase one consultation.’