Thames Tunnel

Phase one consultation

In September 2010 Thames Water published its original plans for the Thames Tunnel scheme and opened the phase one public consultation. Wandsworth Council's full response to the consultation is available online. A brief summary is included below:

Key concerns at phase one

Wandsworth Council supports the aims of the scheme but is strongly opposed to elements of the construction methodology and funding model. In particular, the council opposes the use of Barn Elms Playing Fields as a main drive shaft site.

  • In the current economic climate the high cost of the scheme (£3.6billion) will have to be justified - not least to Wandsworth residents who are all Thames Water customers. They will expect the responsible bodies - DEFRA and Ofwat - to scrutinise the costs and options and ensure the scheme represents value for money.
  • The council is extremely concerned about the impact of the proposed construction site at Barn Elms which will cause severe disruption to towpath users and the residents of Horne Way . The Council calls on Thames Water to identify brownfield alternatives to Barn Elms which do not involve destruction of green open space and recreational areas of the riverside.
  • The council seeks full methodology for spoil removal and delivery of materials to demonstrate that maximum utilisation of the river will be made for all of the riverside sites. This is to reduce impacts on the borough's congested road network - especially around the two proposed main drive shaft sites.

Barn Elms site key concerns

  • Impact of the works on the riverside towpath - a prized natural asset.
  • Loss of valuable and well-used green space for seven years.
  • Loss of green space to permanent buildings.
  • Noise, smell and appearance of 15-meter permanent ventilation tower on this unspoilt and picturesque setting.  
  • Appearance and design of the permanent building and its impact on this sensitive setting.
  • Impact on surrounding homes during the construction period.
  • Impact on rowers and other river users during the construction period.
  • Loss of open space if option for an access road across Putney Common pursued
  • Additional traffic on surrounding road network. 

Putney Bridge Foreshore site key concerns

  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower on a prominent and attractive riverside setting.
  • Appearance and design of the reconfigured foreshore and slip road.
  • Additional traffic on the town centre's heavily congested road network.
  • Impact on neighbouring homes and businesses during the construction period.
  • Impact on people's use of the town centre during the construction period.
  • Impact of the works on rowers and other river users.

Bell Lane Creek site key concerns  

  • Loss of a successful and long established local business employing around 80 people.
  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower.
  • Additional traffic on the town centre's heavily congested road network.
  • Impact on surrounding homes and businesses during the construction period.

King George's Park site key concerns  

  • Loss of  well-used parkland for the two year construction period.
  • Loss of parkland to permanent buildings.
  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower within a well used park.
  • Impact on surrounding homes during the construction period
  • Additional traffic on the busy town centre road network.

Jews Row site key concerns

  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower.
  • Impact on surrounding homes during the construction period.
  • Additional traffic on surrounding road network.

Bridges Court Car Park site key concerns

  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower.
  • Impact on surrounding homes during the construction period.
  • Additional traffic on surrounding road network.

 Tideway Walk site key concerns

  • The owners of the Tideway Industrial Estate plan to regenerate the site and create hundreds of new homes. Thames Water's worksite would block this potential investment and set backthe wider regeneration of Nine Elms with its potential for 25,000 jobs.
  • Noise, smell and appearance of 10-meter permanent ventilation tower.
  • Additional traffic on the local road network during the seven year construction period.
  • Impact on neighbouring homes during the construction period.
  • Impact of the works on rowers and other river users.