Hammersmith & Fulham Council has reacted angrily to attempts to block the regeneration of part of Fulham riverside with the sewer construction site.
The council says a Government official, representing the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), wrote to the council earlier this week to say that “without specific authorisation from DCLG, your authority cannot grant planning permission, or enter into any agreement or other arrangements, or pass any resolution, in connection with the possible grant of planning permission”.
The council is furious at the letter – which is says has come out of the blue – as it threatens to pave the way for Carnwath Road, in Fulham, to be used as the main Thames Tunnel ‘super sewer’ construction site.
An area the size of six football pitches that the council had earmarked in its recent SPD for a new residential mixed-use area could now be off-limits for redevelopment for at least six years.
“This is a bolt out of the blue that fundamentally goes against the Government’s localism agenda,” says Cllr Nick Botterill H&F Council Deputy Leader. “This is centralist and heavy handed especially when ministers have always said that they would not get involved in site selection issues. Only last week, the Mayor of London confirmed to us that, while he still remains a supporter of the controversial concrete pipe, he is neutral over which sites are used along the river.”
“We will strongly oppose the destruction of our neighbourhoods and the derailment of vitally needed regeneration proposals to make way for the monstrous white elephant that is Thames Water’s super sewer.”