Residents of Taw Hill believe that Thames Water’s sub-contractors Optimise are overstepping the mark when it comes to plans for two new sewage storage tanks costing £5 million, that are proposed for the area.
The two underground tanks at either end of Queen Elizabeth Drive are intended to provide overflow capacity and protect homes from sewage backing up during times of heavy rainfall.
However, Taw Hill residents David Parkinson and Brian McClean believe that not enough has been done to identify alternative sites for the tanks, and are dissatisfied with the ‘fait accompli’ attitude that is apparent in the later proposals from Optimise.
Brian said: “It looks like Thames Water’s sub-contractors Optimise are trying to avoid planning permission requirements by removing all above ground infrastructure from their plan.
Pictured: David Parkinson, Andy Hargreaves, Brian CLean, John Bellamy, Nick Gratton, Linda Hayes on the Thames Water southern site in June. Photo: Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com
"It means the originally proposed lay-by and lighting tower have been eliminated, while the vent pipe is now planned to be at ground level instead.”
The residents are concerned that the siting of the tanks within a few yards of homes is totally unsuitable, and advocate that Mouldon Hill Country Park, on the west side of Thamesdown Down, would be a better place to put them.
Refuting Optimise’s claims that the power lines at Mouldon Hill prevent construction Brian said: “The power lines are the standard legal height for construction, and the industrial nature of the tanks and peripheral installations would not look strange next to the new heritage railway line.”
Unfortunately Brian and David also perceive that there is a breakdown in communication regarding the fate of the power lines crossing Mouldon Hill park.
Explaining their position David said: “We are under the impression that Justin Tomlinson MP expects the power lines to be buried to make the open space usable as a sport field. Scottish and Southern Energy deny all knowledge of this.
“It all feels like a lot of smoke and mirrors. There is a perfectly adequate alternative, but the residents of Taw Hill could be the victims because Thames Water don’t require permission.”