I went down to the Deptford Lounge to support comrades and soon to be neighbours in opposing turning Deptford High Street and Church Street into a building site for the next five years. Thames Water have asked for permission to use the green at St. Paul’s as their engineering support site for their plans to build the super-sewer. The national planning inspectorate had come to Deptford to take evidence. The first speaker was the local MP, Joan Ruddock and followed by Joe Dromey and Brenda Dacres who spoke on behalf of the local campaign group “Don’t Dump on Deptford’s Heart”.
The arguments as to why St Paul’s Church is inappropriate are well made on the campaign web site. The social, environmental and disruption costs to residents, especially the school children, businesses and commuters is unacceptable; Thames Water’s reasons for preferring Deptford over its alternative site on the river near the proposed Convoy’s Wharf site is one of cost, to them. The case against may have been best stated by Sue Lawes.
Towards the end of the evening, a number of residents stood up to tell their stories. This act of community politics was quite inspiring, expressing both wit and passion.
A bunch of residents now telling their personal stories. Inspiring. #dontdumpondeptford— Dave Levy (@DaveLevy) February 5, 2014
There were two submissions suggesting serious legal flaws in Thames Water’s proposals, relating to Air and Noise pollution, and one contributor, using his engineering professional expertise also questioned Thames Water’s submission.
Before we went in, we had a bit of a demo, and were joined by Paul Maslin, one of New Cross ward’s sitting Councillors and a number of campaigners.
This picture was taken by me, which is why I am not in it, and earlier in the evening before many residents had arrived.
Crosswhatfields blog have published a verbatim account of the meeting on their blog. 9 Feb 2014
The planning inspectorate have a web site at which they post all the evidence they have collected, including an audio track of this session. I hope they create a transcript, but from looking at the sites history, it would seem not.