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Have your say on Thames Water Teddington river abstraction proposals

18 October 2023

Richmond Council has stood unanimously against Thames Water's plan to take water from the River Thames at Teddington Weir and divert it to the Lee Valley Reservoirs, replacing it with waste-water from Mogden Sewage Treatment Works.

Thames Water have launched a consultation on initial site options for the Teddington Direct River Abstraction (DRA) project. Find out more about the project and have your say, before Monday 11 December 2023. You can also register to attend a series of community information events.

Speaking at a meeting of the Full Council, Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council, said:

"We recognise the urgent need to address the water shortages we will face in decades to come, but this Council will robustly resist any plans which we consider damaging to the river and to our own land, where better solutions are viable. We need the Government to force Thames Water to tell us what the other options are and be more transparent with everyone who has an interest in this."

Councillor Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, moved the motion at the Council meeting, saying:

"We take our role as community leaders very seriously. And we heard from our community resoundingly.

"Swimmers, rowers, anglers and all of those who value their local parks for recreation, exercise and biodiversity as well as all those who enjoy the river have expressed concerns about the potential impact on water quality, including so-called forever chemicals, and the potential impacts of construction on sensitive locations.

"Others have shared more technical doubts about resilience, and whether this type of scheme can resist silting up at the extraction point. And there are ongoing concerns about Thames Water's priorities in the context of sewage spills and their failure to fix leaks."

The Council agreed to call on the Government to require Thames Water to re-examine and publish other schemes. The current proposal could impact Ham Lands and Moormead Park in St. Margarets, having a detrimental impact on local wildlife and ecosystems.

As the local planning authority, Richmond Council could have a say in the project going ahead, but Thames Water have indicated that it would prefer a decision to be made on the proposals via the Nationally Strategic Infrastructure project process, rather than locally. Current timelines indicate planning proposals will be submitted in 2026.

If residents have particular concerns about these proposals, they are advised to speak to their local councillor.

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Up to: October 2023

Updated: 18 October 2023

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