Putney & Barnes Residents Unite to Fight Barn Elms Construction Plans

'Stop the Shaft': an action group to stop Thames Water ruining the riverside at Barn Elms

Associated Links

If you go comment on this story on the forum

Sign up for your local newsletter:

STOPtheSHAFT Putney&Barnes is a group of local residents, many of whom have lived in the Putney and Barnes area for many years. They are opposed to the proposed location of the Main Shaft for the new Thames Tunnel and not the overall objectives of the Thames Tunnel Project.

Thames Water has made proposals to site the main shaft and construction at Barn Elms, and is currently conducting a consultation process across the affected areas. Residents in leafy SW15 have major concerns about the impact to the Putney and Barnes community, local wildlife and changing landscape from this proposal, so the group has formed to ensure that these are heard.

Barn Elms is a local community recreational area and is flanked by a natural, unspoilt riverside path, popular with joggers, cyclists, dog walkers, families alike. It is also very close to residential areas such as Horne Way where residents could be subjected to construction, dust and noise 24/7.

Speaking on behalf of the STOPtheSHAFT Putney&Barnes action group, Peter Mumford - a Putney resident for 25 years - said:
“We are not opposed to the Thames Tunnel and are wholly in favour of a cleaner, sewage free, river Thames, but many people believe that the choice of Barn Elms is ill considered to say the least. This project will cause major disruption to well established, highly popular river-based sports and towpath-based activity.”

The construction of the tunnel is expected to last for 7 years and could even have an impact on acclaimed events such as the University Boat Race, as jetties and wharves need to be built out into the Thames to moor the barges used to move excavated material to and from the site. Whilst many rowing and sailing clubs along the river are desperate for a solution to deliver a cleaner Thames, they may not be aware of the full implications of this project on their rowing activities.

Another member of the group, Louise de Silva, added, “The level of construction for this proposal will be extreme and have wide reaching implications for local road infrastructure, businesses and also wildlife, being situated so close to WWT London Wetland Centre. 

“Local residents should know that there are alternatives and we intend to push Thames Water for a more suitable location to be found for this main shaft.”

STOPtheSHAFT Putney&Barnes are urging anyone who is opposed to the plans to ensure they provide feedback, before the 20th December deadline, on the consultation site at www.thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk and also sign the petition online at www.gopetition.com/petition/40513.html. The group will also be delivering leaflets and printed petitions to local homes and businesses for completion by anyone opposed to the plans. There is also a Facebook site “STOPtheSHAFT Putney&Barnes” for the sharing of concerns and discussion for anyone involved


November 18, 2010