New Thames Tunnel consultation set to launch

Thames Water has unveiled plans to launch an additional four-week consultation round on amendments to its proposed Thames Tunnel project.

This comes ahead of the release of the company’s latest report and response to feedback comments on the Thames Tunnel or ‘supersewer’ project, which would see a 15-mile sewer tunnel run beneath London.

Despite public opposition to the tunnel, Thames Water is set to explain why 24 preferred sites for the tunnel’s construction and commitment to use the river for transporting material during the construction phase remain unchanged. However, it was forced to change its plans over the use of greenfield sites last November.

However, it will report on proposed amendments at Putney, Victoria and Albert Embankments and Barn Elms as it outlines its response to comments received during the 14-week consultation, which ran from November 4 last year February 10 2012.

Thames Water head of London tideway tunnels Phil Stride, said: “Unfortunately, there are no easy or disruption-free options for building this much-needed piece of infrastructure, but we remain as determined as ever to reduce the impacts at the proposed sites as much as possible, whilst ensuring we deliver value for money.

Early in 2013, the company is scheduled to submit its finalised proposals for scrutiny by the Planning Inspectorate, with the main construction for the project planned to begin in 2016.

Speaking at an Institute of Water event in London yesterday, Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs said that the tunnel project would go ahead, but that getting the message across to customers why it is needed was a challenge.

The latest report will be released June 6.

Carys Matthews

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