Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baroness Kennedy defends Deptford against Thames Water in the House of Lords

On Monday 27th January, Baroness Kennedy QC spoke in the House of Lords about Thames Water's plans to site a Thames Tunnel ventilation shaft on Crossfields Green.

She set out the devastating impact it would have on the local area. The site is "one of the only green spaces in that area, being next to a listed church and a residential estate, and being right next to a primary school". The construction – set to last for over three years – would bring "road closures, traffic mayhem and road safety fears. Obviously, there will be an increase in the level of noise and air pollution".

She explained that the decision was "vehemently opposed by local residents", almost 1,000 of whom had signed a petition organised by Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart. The consultation had been "inadequate" with the original plans to site the construction tunnel on the riverside being changed with no adequate explanation. One of the justifications given by Thames Water for moving the site from the riverside to the centre of Deptford was that local people there already suffer from noise pollution, so won't notice a bit more. She slammed this as "totally unacceptable".

She called on the Planning Inspectorate to recognise the flaws in their plans and the concerns of local residents.  

The full text of Baroness Kennedy's speech can be found in the Hansard records here.

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