With Thames Water having now submitted the plans for its 'Supersewer' or Thames Tideway Tunnel to the Planning Inspectorate, members of the public and interested parties will be invited to make representations as part of the planning process.
You may remember that one of the preferred sites is the triangle of public land next to St Paul's Church, bounded by Coffey Street/Crossfields St and Deptford Church Street. The proposal is to dig a 17m diameter shaft here that will enable flow from the existing sewers to be intercepted and diverted into the new tunnel, so that it will no longer flow directly into the river.
If you're not sure how big 17m is, just pop along to Coffey Street and you'll see someone has helpfully marked it out using a small wicker fence.
In response to these plans, a pressure group Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart was set up (with a Facebook page here), and plans are afoot to establish a community garden on the Coffey Street site.
The group has raised concerns about the impact of the noise, dust, construction traffic and so on, on local residents and in particular on children in St Joseph's School, not to mention the loss of amenity during the construction process.
They are urging supporters to register with the Planning Inspectorate so that the strength of feeling by local residents can be fully expressed.
Their press release explains:
1) Everyone needs to register to the planning inspectorate. You can do this online or by phone and post. You must do this by 28th May 2013. If you are wanting to register by post you have to start the process in time to receive the form and send it back before 28th May 2013.
2) Please copy any MPs and politicians you think it would be useful to and ask them to register in our favour
3) We must visit as many of the drop in centres as possible (sadly there is not one in Deptford) but we are fighting this. The details of this are outlined below
4) Join our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DontDumpOnDeptfordsHeart I will be adding reminders of events and important campaign dates to this page. I will also try to email too of course!
5) Watch out for a public meeting of our own that we are organising - this will be in the next two or three weeks. Fr Paul has kindly said that we can use the church.
People can register easily online at: http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/london/thames-tideway-tunnel/ or call the Inspectorate’s helpline: 0303 444 5000 for a printed registration form, which must be completed and returned by 28 May 2013.
Those who register will be entitled to provide evidence in writing to support their representation, to attend the Preliminary Meeting, to request an open floor hearing and to speak at other hearings where appropriate.
To help people understand how the process works, Planning Inspectorate staff will be holding drop-in events and presentations in the local area to answer questions and explain how to register and make a representation about the application.
Details of these meetings are available here however the closest to Deptford are in Tooley Street in London Bridge, or at City Hall.