Selbourne Commission Report

The Thames Tunnel Commission, led by Lord Selborne, has now published its report.  The full report can be downloaded here
From the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham webste, "the Commission recommends that:
  • The primary reasons for rejecting the Babtie option, which recommends a shorter EU compliant tunnel that costs less than half the current super sewer estimate, should be revisited as a matter of urgency.

  • Complimentary green infrastructure solutions that minimise the amount of fresh rain water entering the sewerage system should be considered, particularly in light of new EU legislation on environmental sustainability.

  • Defra, the Environment Agency and Thames Water should give very careful consideration to the other alternatives as proposed by Chris Binnie, Chairman of the Thames Tideway Strategic Study Group from 2000 to 2006, and Professor Colin Green, who is a national expert on water economics.

  • Thames Water should examine the experience of other EU member states in complying with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and take note of the experience of world cities like Chicago and Milwaukee."
The Thames Tunnel Commission was sponsored by a number of London councils, including Southwark. Thames Water and the Government remain in favour of the original  scheme.
There have been a number of articles in the press following the release of the report and I expect that we will see something on BBC London news - which includes a statement for a Thames Water spokesman "To be a viable proposition, any alternative to the Thames Tunnel would need to provide a more economical way of meeting the environmental objectives set by the Environment Agency for the health of the river, within the time scale required by the Government." "He said it would be a "valuable contribution" to a second consultation into the scheme which starts on Friday."
Thames Water is due to enter into its Phase 2 consultation this Friday, 4th November. It will announce its preferred route and sites and the consultation will run for 14 weeks (until 10th February 2012).
We will of course keep you all updated on any developments, including any response from the Government or Thames Water on the Commission's findings.