Tunnelling Project could Impact on Recreational Area
Local residents of the Barns Elm site have been fighting plans for the Thames Water Super Sewer in their neighbourhood for months now and new research has added some extra weight to their arguments: it appears that at least 10,000 visitors enjoy the delights of the Barns Elm playing fields and riverside tow path every weekend now that summer is here, all of whom would be seriously inconvenienced should Thames Water’s plans for a Thames Tunnel Super Sewer main tunnelling drive go ahead on the Barn Elms site.
Surveys carried out on the numbers of visitors to the area have revealed that large numbers of local people and visitors use the area for recreational and sporting purposes. Tens of thousands of adults and children played sports on the Barns Elms playing fields between April last year and March of this year, including several schools and local sporting clubs. The riverside path is also popular with runners, cyclists and dog walkers and the Barns Elm boathouse and jetty regularly attracts school children and other water enthusiasts.
Should the tunnel drive go ahead at the Barns Elm site, local residents and councillors are concerned that tunnelling activity and associated construction works will have an adverse effect on peoples’ homes and businesses, plus it would negatively impact on the future generation’s enjoyment of the local area.
“Thames Water need to understand how many thousands of Londoners will be affected if they locate the main drive shaft at Barn Elms, not to mention the impact on wildlife,” said Sian Baxter, Chairwoman of the Barns Elm Stop the Shaft Committee. She also added, “Playing fields and natural spaces are too scarce as it is and once lost they will be gone forever, we must fight to protect them now.”