Southwark Council launches judicial review against super sewer

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Southwark Council launches judicial review against super sewer
31st October 2014

There have long been plans to modernise London's sewer system with a so-called ‘super sewer’.  

It would run from Acton in the West to Abbey Mills in the East of London.

Southwark council’s challenge may be an attempt to delay the project, which was given approval by the Government last month.

The sewer is controversial as it has been proposed by Thames Water. It is thought that their customers could see an extra £80 added to their bills in order to cover the cost of construction. It is scheduled to begin next year and last for 7 years.

Thames Water say the reason behind the sewer is to clean up the Thames. They say the Victorian sewers overflow on a weekly basis, flushing 39 million tonnes of raw sewage directly into the Thames each year. In 2013, 55 million tonnes of sewage polluted the river.

The opposition is because the drilling and tunnelling involved will be disruptive to the communities living nearby to the building sites along the 16 mile stretch.

The Southwark Council Statement said:

"We have issued the High Court with an application for a Judicial Review into the… decision to approve plans for the super sewer in their current form because of the devastating impact the work will have on the lives of thousands of people who live, work and go to school around the proposed Chamber's Wharf tunnel drive site."

In a statement, Thames Water said: "We are aware that there has been an application for judicial review. Work is continuing with business as usual."

A government spokesman said: "We have full confidence in the robustness of the development consent order and are unable to comment on any ongoing legal proceedings.

"As one of the country's leading infrastructure projects, the Thames Tideway Tunnel will modernise the capital's ageing sewerage system."

Thames Tideway also responded, saying: 

“We are aware that four JR applications have been received by the courts, within the deadline of 24 October 2014.

“We will need to study the details, so for legal reasons cannot comment on them further at this stage.

“Work continues on the project, business as usual.”

Dan Freedman went to find out more. 


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