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Thames Water extends mega-sewer consultation period

Thames Water has extended its 14-week public consultation on the Thames Tunnel by almost a month to give people more opportunity to have their say.

The Thames Tunnel will tackle the 39M.t of sewage discharged into the River Thames each year, due to lack of capacity in the Victorian sewerage network, but its route and interception shafts stretch across much of London, making the project controversial.

“To find the least disruptive and most cost effective route and sites we need to listen very carefully to everybody’s views,” said Thames Water head of London Tideway Tunnels Phil Stride.

“Feedback indicates some people have only recently become aware of the consultation. That’s why we’ve decided to give people more time to get their comments in to us.

“No final decisions have been taken yet. We are following up new information which has been provided by local people and will carefully consider all comments and suggestions. Where possible, we will amend our plans. These revisions will form the basis of the second phase of public consultation which will take place next year.”

Since the consultation started in September, Thames Water has sent out 175,000 letters to potentially affected communities, staged over 20 local drop-in exhibitions close to potential sites and attended over 40 other meetings. More than 4,000 people have attended exhibitions so far and 1,000 people have already submitted their feedback. The new closing date for comments is 5pm on 14 January 2011.

The target date for the submission of the planning application is mid 2012. Initial construction of the Thames Tunnel is provisionally scheduled to tidestart in 2013 with programmed completion in 2020.

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