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Southwark leader slams super sewer approval as 'ludicrous and evil'

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The leader of Southwark Council has slammed a decision to grant planning approval for the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel as “ludicrous and evil”.

Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, told the AJ’s sister title Construction News: “This is a ludicrous and evil decision by the secretaries of state as the Planning Inspectorate clearly found that Chamber’s Wharf was not a suitable drive site for this super sewer.

“I am appalled [they] have so utterly failed to take into account the significant impacts this super sewer work will have on the residents who live, work and go to school in this area, and gone against the Planning Inspectorate’s own findings.

Construction of London’s ‘super sewer’ has inched closer after the government earlier granted an order for the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel to be built

Communities secretary Eric Pickles and environment secretary Elizabeth Truss granted a development consent order for the Thames Tideway Tunnel to be built and operated

The tunnel will run from the Acton Storm Tanks in West London to the Abbey Mills pumping station in East London, with a storage capacity of 1.25 m cubic metres.

Construction is expected to start in 2016 and be completed by 2023.

Eight JVs are currently bidding for the central, east and west works packages.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “This is a challenging infrastructure project, but it is clear that the Thames Tunnel will help modernise London’s ageing Victorian sewerage system, and make the River Thames cleaner and safer.”

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “In the 21st century, London should not have a river that is polluted by sewage every time there is heavy rainfall. The Thames Tunnel is considered to be the best solution to address London’s outdated sewerage infrastructure.”

ACE’s chief executive, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “It is excellent news that this piece of vital infrastructure has been given the go ahead and the industry can now begin planning and mobilising the supply chain with certainty.

“London has been relying on Bazalgette’s legacy which has been put under increasing strain due to the rise in the capital’s population, and this new sewer promises to relieve the burden in the most effective way. Industry must now get together and work with those individuals and communities that continue to have concerns to ensure the disruption they experience is limited.”

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