Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thames Tunnel Public Hearing: Thursday 21st November at the Ahoy Centre

Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart have produced a brief and very good document which contains the arguments against Thames Tunnel using the site at Crossfields Green. Download it here.

Apart from the demo being organised (8.45am) for the start of tomorrow's Thames Tunnel Pubic Hearing at the Ahoy Centre (click to find location), we understand the public may attend the inquiry itself even if they have not registered formally to speak at this "Open Floor Hearing", which is being held by the government's Planning Inspectorate (not Thames Water). If you decide to attend (registration is 9 - 9.30am), you will find the document useful.


Apart from the unacceptable rise in noise levels for the church, school and Crossfields residents, spoil from the shaft and tunnelling work will be removed from the site by hundreds of lorries, forcing the closure of the western carriageway of Deptford Church St, and reducing it to the two lanes closest to Crossfields. For three years.

Work will also start next year on Creekside at Faircharm Trading Estate, and Creekside itself will become the main route for up to 90 construction lorries per day. When the Thames Tunnel work starts in 2016, Creekside will be used as a rat run, so there will be no letting up on our exposure to gridlocked traffic on all sides.

In a recent survey by Greenwich campaigners "No to Silvertown Tunnel", it was revealed that Greenwich Council's own figures showed pollution levels at the top of Deptford Church Street where it meets Creek Road were on average 61.34 μg/m3 between Jan 05 and Jul 13. Readings above 40μg/m3 are in breach of EU air quality regulations.

Update: (And how could we forget!) If Hutchison Whampoa's application for Convoys Wharf is approved by the Mayor of London (see our previous post and sign the petition there), they will start work in 2014 (to go on until 2023), adding hundreds of construction vehicles to Evelyn St and Creek Road, and causing massive congestion which will of course tail back along Deptford Church Street. 

Thames Water's original site was at Borthwick Wharf on the riverside at Millennium Quay, where spoil could be removed by water. In a massive abandonment of their environment principles, they then switched the site to landlocked Deptford Church Street. We need to let them know we cannot tolerate the levels of pollution this scheme will bring, and insist they revert to their first chosen site.

In addition, see this report that says the proposed increase in household waste water charges (by as much as £80 a year) may generate after-tax returns as high as 24% for Thames Water, more than three times the estimated 7% return for other water utilities.

Please sign the petition here.

The Don't Dump on Deptford Heart's "They say, we say" document can be downloaded here.



  2. Open Floor Hearing: Registration is 9-9.30am.
    It is not confirmed what time the hearing starts or when it ends!

  3. They're all linked, aren't they.
    Capitalism gone mad and Deptford being dumped on.

    Would we even need the Thames Tunnel if every bit of land wasn't being built on? Apparently there's a housing shortage, but that isn't being solved by luxury housing. The shortage is of social housing/affordable housing for the poor people who do all the necessary service or shit jobs, so that they don't have to spend all their wages on travelling into and out of the city as they have to live ever further out to find cheaper accommodation.

    The shortage definitely isn't for those are earning a packet in the city and in Canary Wharf, who can afford to live anywhere they want.

    Predictions are that technology will soon do away with those lower-middle classes servicing the financial industries, so that all that's left is the office and apartment cleaning, baristas, and onsite smart phone sales. Oh, and nurses and all ancillary workers, firemen, postmen, social and mental healthcare workers, you name it, teachers, policemen, and every other public service that this government hasn't decimated.

    Yet all that's being built is luxury housing, sold offshore, with the tiniest percentage going to solve the problem, far less (15% or even nothing) than was originally prescribed (50%).

    So yes, we need a better sewage system, but there are other options. Building tall rather than covering hard ground with buildings may be one of those, but not so that wealthy people who don't pay their taxes here can monopolise them and leave them empty.

    Where is the debate?

    It's frightening to think no one with any intelligence is in charge (Boris) and no one has taken all these local developments into account in a proper town planning sort of way. Where is the opposition from Lewisham Council, who must know what the impact of all these proposals will be? As should all the people working at the GLA.

    The rivalry or lack of talking between the two boroughs (Greenwich & Lewisham) doesn't help. Greenwich seem to have made some terrible decisions, and thanks to Lewisham Labour's complacency, Deptford's local Councillors have been utterly useless. We now have two new councillors but only one of them is likely to be of any use (Joe Dromey), one more whose picture looks like a ghost on the recent handout, and the retainer (Paul Maslin) has done nothing of any use to Deptford for years.

    More importantly, Councillors in charge of Planning Decisions are still next to useless since they don't even read the intricate details of major planning applications, but wait to hear what the chief planning officer advises and go along with it. They have no training in planning and obviously couldn't care less about an area they don't actually live in, which is most of them.

    Even the bright people still in charge don't seem to read the latest academic thinking on urban planning. Lesser debates are lobbied by capitalist developer types who moan on about viability and profits for their shareholders, as if that were the only consideration, especially in Property Developer sponsored mediums such as the Evening Standard.

    Discussion in other media outlets is abysmal. Only Building Design has reported the Convoys Wharf situation but who the fuck reads that? Radio London yesterday claimed to have a debate but hardly touched the real issues. A brave citizen called Colin tried to introduce the subject of Convoys Wharf but was easily dismissed by presenter Robert Elms, who seems to have only a shallow understanding of the complexity involved.

    If you think other people are to blame, look at yourself.

    HOPE? Or not a hope in hell?

    Sign the petitions. Let's stop at least one of these fuckers.

  4. "only one of them is likely to be of any use (Joe Dromey)"

    well, I'm sure he has the support of his mother (Harriet Harman) - and I suspect his interest in Deptford is merely one way of scrabbling up the greasy pole . . .

  5. Of course, we could spend all our time slagging people off, or we could work together to try to stop this thing...

    So now you've forced me to defend the people who are really doing the work. Joe was one of the very few people to turn up to deliver our Don't Dump on Deptford leaflets on Saturday. Joe, Brenda Dacres and Paul Maslin helped to knock on every door on the Crossfields estate and beyond on Sunday (the only explicitly Labour Party activity). On Tuesday all three turned up to give out leaflets to the parents at the school. All three of them were outside the hearing this morning in the driving wind and rain. Joe took the day off to help make the case at the first planning inspectorate hearing, he took a couple of hours off this morning to be there again today. Joe printed all the campaign leaflets. Brenda rang the press. I could go on.

    It's going to take an enormous effort to stop this tunnel construction, just as it will Convoys or any of the other developments that seem poised to ruin our lives. Please let's put our energy into preventing them, rather than back-biting ...

  6. let's be honest, Dromey was invisible in Deptford a few weeks ago and he'll return the invisibility after he loses at the next election – he's jumping on any passing bandwagon, even 'Save Lewisham Hospital' for which he has done absolutely no work at all!

  7. or you could just carry on back-biting...