Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said today: “I can now confirm we have issued the High Court with an application for a Judicial Review into the Secretaries of State’s decision to approve plans for the super sewer in their current form, because of the devastating impact the work will have on the lives of the thousands of people who live, work and go to school around the proposed Chamber’s Wharf tunnel drive site.
“Our position was supported by the findings of the five individual planning inspectors who, after six months of hearing from experts and residents alike, concluded that using Chambers Wharf as a drive site would have very significant impacts on the lives of residents and that Abbey Mills would be a more appropriate site with far less impact. This point was ignored by the Secretaries of State who did not even consider the alternatives put forward and simply felt the need for the project outweighed our concerns about the way Chambers Wharf was being used.
“We have discussed this with legal counsel and believe we have a strong case, but we are under no illusions, we are very much David taking on Goliath. However, unlike the Secretaries of State, we can not simply ignore the devastating impact this work will have on the people living, working and going to school around Chambers Wharf and we are prepared to take this to court in order to get the best possible outcome for them.”
Barney Holbeche, chair of the Save Your Riverside residents’ campaign group, said: “It is very surprising and disappointing that ministers chose to ignore advice from the planning inspectorate and therefore go against the national policy statement on waste water which states that the tunnel should only be given consent if significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from noise have been avoided. The credibility of the planning process is in doubt because of this decision on the tunnel and we therefore welcome the decision of Southwark Council to question the legalities of it.”