'Super Sewer' plans slammed

A planning inquiry begins today into a controversial new "Super Sewer" for London. The former chief of regulator OFWAT, is among critics opposing the plans.

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Former head of water regulator attacks plans for 'Super Sewer'

Plans for a multi- billion pound super sewer for the capital, have been criticised by the former head of the water regulator. Sir Ian Byatt has questioned whether the city needs the Tideway Tunnel, and whether it will provide value for money.

If Thames Water gets planning permission to build the new sewer pipe, its customers will cover the cost with higher bills. Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris reports.

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Thames Water 'neglected sewer system'

The former chief of Ofwat, the water company watch-dog, blames Thames Water for 'neglecting their sewer system.'

Sir Ian Byatt went on to say:

"There is a lot of infiltration of water into their sewers, which is exacerbating the problem, and I think they should have done more to deal with that.

"My concern for the 'super-sewer' is that it's much too expensive. The job could be done very much more cheaply, engineering studies have shown you could do it for half the cost."

Former Ofwat chief blames 'inadequate maintenance'

The former boss of the water regulator Ofwat has criticised plans for a controversial new "super sewer" under London. Sir Ian Byatt is the latest to oppose Thames Water's plans to build the £4 billion new sewage system.

The water company says it needs to ease the pressure on London's existing Victorian infrastructure. But Sir Byatt says the only reason the current network is in a bad state is because Thames Water hasn't maintained it properly.

In a detailed report, entitled 'Thames Tunnel; A Critique of a Flawed Project', he claims:

“This deteriorating situation seems to have resulted from inadequate maintenance by Thames Water of its sewer system. Thames Water was slow in dealing with high leakage in water supply pipes, and had to be pressured by Ofwat to increase expenditure on reducing leakage. It now appears that a similar situation has arisen with respect to the sewerage system, again requiring regulatory intervention.”

– Sir Ian Byatt

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Planning inspectors begin 'Super Sewer' inquiry

The start of the formal planning inquiry into the controversial 'Super Sewer'. A panel of five government planning inspectors held their first public meeting at the Barbican.

Start of the formal planning inquiry into the £4.2bn project Credit: ITV News

They're expected to hear evidence from supporters andopponents over the next six months before making a recommendation to theEnvironment Secretary in about a year.

The inquiry got underway today at the Barbican Credit: ITV News

Probe into 'Super-Sewer'

Plans to build a 'Super-Sewer' in London are being discussed today as the formal planning inquiry gets underway.

Thames Water insists the Thames Tideway Tunnel is needed to bring the system up to date and stop raw sewage flowing into the Thames. It says the project will enable to UK to meet European environmental standards.

The company has produced a video to illustrate the desperate need of help to clean up the River Thames.

Inquiry underway into controversial new 'Super-Sewer'

A planning inquiry gets underway today into a controversial new "Super-Sewer" beneath London. The project would cost £4.2 billion and add £80 a year to bills. Thames Water has argued the Tideway Tunnel is needed to prevent millions of litres of sewage being pumped into the river each year.

Thames Water's plans to build the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel Credit: Press Association

However the plans have come under fire from the former Director General of water regulator OFWAT. Sir Ian Byatt says London's sewer systems are in their current state is because Thames Water has failed to maintain the system properly.

Thames Water's 'Super Sewer' plans slammed.

Thames Water has plans for a 'Super Sewer'. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

The former boss of the water regulator Ofwat has slammed Thames Water's plans for a £4 billion 'Super Sewer'.

The water company has submitted a 50,000 page planning application for the project, saying it's needed to ease the pressure on London's existing Victorian system.

But Sir Ian Byatt says the only reason the current network is in a bad state is because Thames Water hasn't maintained it properly.

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