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Fresh super sewer legal challenge threat

A major opponent of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is looking for support to launch a legal challenge against the £4bn scheme.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles and environment secretary Elizabeth Truss last week granted development consent for the controversial super sewer to be built and operated.

But a group of experts led by campaigning body Blue Green UK chairman Graham Stevens slammed the decision as a waste of money.

Stevens told NCE today: “We are looking for funds, co-applicants and lawyers to apply for Judicial Review within the six-week time limit.”

He said signatories to a recent open letter criticising the approval of the project – including former chairman of the Thames Tideway Strategy Steering Group Chris Binnie – were in support of legal action and would act as witnesses.

But finding people willing to foot the potentially huge cost of the case remained a major challenge, Stevens conceded.

His central argument is that Thames Water’s consultation with local people was “not meaningful” and thus failed to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

The project will be paid for by Thames Water sewerage customers, who will see an increase of up to a maximum of £80 in 2011 prices, by the mid-2020s.

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