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London council clashes with Thames Water over 'super sewer'

Harper Downie’s riverside development could scupper Thames Water’s ‘super sewer’ plans after a council planning committee gave the residential development the green light

Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s planning committee resolved on Tuesday to grant consent for the practice’s proposals for a riverside community at the Carnwath Road site with 475 homes, offices, shops, public squares and an ‘artisans’ village’.

The council’s support for the scheme is a blow for Thames Water and its plans to build a tunnel shaft for the 22 mile ‘super sewer’ sewage pipe at the riverside site. The controversial ‘super sewer’ has been met with local opposition due to the potential disruption during construction work and to fears of bad smells from the tunnel shaft when the sewer comes into use.

However, a Safeguarding Direction issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government prevents Hammersmith and Fulham from granting planning permission to any developments on the site, meaning that although the planning committee has given its approval ‘in principle’, the final decision rests with the Secretary of State.

Councillor Nicholas Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: ‘Now that these excellent plans to create a vibrant new riverside community, including much needed new homes, have got the green light from the council it is Thames Water’s duty to back off.’

The last thing we want is for all our hard work to be flushed down Thames Water’s unnecessary stink-pipe

He added: ‘The local community helped to share this exciting plan to develop a new residential, mixed-use community on Carnwath Road and the last thing any of us want is for all our hard work to be flushed down Thames Water’s unnecessary stink-pipe.’

Thames Water is expected to lodge its planning application for the site in the next few weeks. Phil Stride, Head of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: ‘The brownfield site at Carnwath Road Riverside remains our preferred construction site. It is subject to a Safeguarding Direction for the Thames Tideway Tunnel from the Secretary of State, who we understand will review the Council’s decision before taking the final decision. Given the site’s status, we believe it unlikely the Minister will authorise the grant of planning permission.’

Councillor Botterill said he hoped final planning permission would be granted to the residential development by the Department for Communities and Local Government. He said: ‘We are imploring the Secretary of State to approve this positive riverside regeneration rather than the nightmare that is Thames Water’s sewage pipe construction compound.’

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