Thames Tideway Tunnel

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Thames Tideway Tunnel

Received 27 April 2013
From Mrs Unity Harvey


I believe that the sewer project is designed to manage the sewage from London efficiently for the next one hundred years. The Environment Agency also have plans to manage projected flood water from the River Thames for the next one hundred years but I believe that the two plans do not lie easily and efficiently together. To contain the floodwater, the Environment Agency has plans to build a new Thames Barrier and raise the banks of the River Thames by one metre. They will also need water-holding bays. Until this work is completed the land on Barn Elms and on Putney Embankment is at risk of flooding.

With particular regard to the proposed CSO at Barn Elms, the land was flooded to a depth of 2 metres here in 1964 and despite the present barrier and raised bank being constructed since then, the land is once more at risk. The proposed CSO building has doors and will not be flood proof so the system will not work during a flood when it is most needed. Moreover, I contacted the Environment Agency to see if they had any plans to use Barn Elms as a water holding bay. They had no plans to use it as an overflow for Beverley Brook, not mentioning the River Thames. They added that if they needed to use it later, they would contact the then owners of the land. If the CSO is built they will not be able to use it unless a big defensive wall is built around the CSO building.

Local youths often venture on to the Sports Centre to play when it is not open and I believe that they will be tempted to climb on the building, gradually vandalising it. It will be hard to water the plants in dry summers and I believe that it will become an eyesore spoiling the natural view on this Metropolitan Open Land. This is very sad, particularly as the eye is naturally drawn to this corner of the triangular shaped sports centre.

I also believe that if this project does go ahead the road parallel to Queen Elizabeth Walk should be completely restored to grass land. It will lead to nowhere and maintenance vehicles could use the existing road through the centre of the sports field particularly if it is made a little wider. I believe that the best place for a replacement pavilion is where the present one is situated. It is near the entrance and is best placed for a sunny aspect. More importantly, most of the sports centre can be seen from here. I have also been told that as time goes on there is likely to be a smell emanating form the CSO that will not be nice for sports players or local Putney residents.

Whilst I am in favour of the project as a whole, I am very much against siting the CSO here on Barn Elms because I believe there is a better alternative. The small but considerable amount of sewage in question comes from Putney into Barn Elms and back into the Thames via Beverley Brook. I believe it should be piped alongside Beverley Brook if necessary and then underground, maybe with manholes for access, along the Putney Embankment to the Putney CSO, never entering Barn Elms at all. There would then be no smell and I believe that it would be better to have a slightly larger disturbance at Putney CSO and not disturb any views and wildlife at Barn Elms. The pipe would not be liable to flooding once the Environment Agency one metre high wall was built. Land owners, particularly boat house owners, along the Embankment may not like the idea at first wanting to keep the low access to the river as long as possible. However the wall, with access over or through it, will eventually have to be built unless the landowners wish to rebuild their properties on stilts. I believe that, because the Metropolitan Land on Barn Elms would not be marred and the wildlife would remain undisturbed, using this route via Putney is infinitely preferable to the one chosen, especially as it would still contain the sewage if there was a flood and there would still be potential water holding bay site if it were required.